The Movie Waffler New Release Review - The Perks of Being a Wallflower | The Movie Waffler

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New Release Review - The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Directed by: Stephen Chbosky
Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson,Ezra Miller, Nina Dobrev, Dylan McDermott, Joan Cusack, Kate Walsh, Paul Rudd, Mae Whitman

Following a breakdown brought on by his friend's suicide, freshman Logan enters High School, making friends with seniors Watson and Miller.
If spending 100 minutes in the company of a bunch of pretentious teenage snobs sounds like fun then this is your movie. I was often forced to spend time with people like this as a teen but I've taken great measures in adulthood to avoid the presence of such people. Here we have the hot quirky girl who thinks she's cultured because she likes old music, the shy kid who believes the fact he can't make friends will make him a writer, and the camp gay stereotype who can dish out the sarcasm but sure can't take it.
Chbosky is adapting his own novel and it's unclear whether he wrote it as a clueless teen or an out of touch adult. His teenagers feel more like a liberal adult's fantasy ideal than any real representation of how teens actually are. They're also sickeningly elitist; an ex-boyfriend is mocked for working in a car wash and anyone with an interest in sports is portrayed as an aggressive meathead. I suspect Chbosky considered himself an outsider during his high school days, but most likely due to a form of self-exclusion. I've known these kids in my own school days, the ones who think they're better than everyone else then wonder why they get bullied after school. The three leads, Logan, Watson and Miller, are all excellent, it's just a shame they play such horrid characters. 
This is an exploitation movie of the worst kind, exploiting serious issues such as teen suicide and child abuse. If you insist on addressing such heavy topics, at least try and do them justice. Here they're just thrown in to give some extra "depth" to characters. These issues are handled so flippantly that they serve more as an accessory for a character rather than a motivation, adding no more than an emo haircut or a quirky tartan skirt. The suicide of Logan's friend is mentioned at the beginning only to be cast aside as other cheap and offensively handled back-stories are revealed. 
There's a flashback of a disturbing event in Logan's childhood but Chbosky clearly doesn't feel the event itself is dramatic enough so he has it occur on Christmas Eve. It's an offensive and insensitive approach to such a troubling subject. Maybe Chbosky would be more comfortable in the world of daytime soaps?
5/10

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