by Chris Dale
Making a case for Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower is not an easy task. It’s a deserving film, no doubt, but there is no sparkle, no pizzazz, no excitement. It’s the rare film that does nothing more than try to tell a story in a clean, unsophisticated way. It has a firm sense of time, place and character, you know, the fundamentals. It’s not quirky, nor experimental, nor innovative. You will not leave the theater thinking that what you’ve seen is revolutionary, groundbreaking or inventive.
Nor does the film have a pedigree that grabs your attention. The film is written and directed by Chbosky who adapted it from a young adult novel he wrote 13 years prior. Its cast is largely unknown or unheralded. The only cast member with major film experience is Emma Watson from the Harry Potter series, which many will more likely see as a detriment than a positive. And to make it an even harder sell to voters it hasn’t done particularly well at the box office. At only 16 million dollars, to many this film is a mostly forgettable coming-of-age teen movie that got a handful of good critical notices. “Next!” you can hear the crotchety old Hollywood legend yell as he sifts through his stack of screeners.