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Watch This: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”

Last Saturday morning, I went for an 8 mile run in absolutely beautiful weather and then I hurried up and got ready to go see an early showing at the theatre of…The Perks of Being a Wallflower, finally. (This isn’t the first time I posted about the film, you can read my first post anticipating its release here.) Perks tells the story of Charlie, a teenager trying to work through all the emotions and hardship that come with growing up. Navigating love, and life and our surroundings. The fascinating, incredible moments that make the rough times worth it. Finding the perfect song, on an amazing night. Staying up late, laughing with people who totally get you. What makes people tick? Finding a place to belong. Learning to be yourself, and enjoy it whoever you are. Charlie’s story is told through a series of letters written to a mystery person. This style allows us to see events from Charlie’s perspective, grasp the emotions he tries to describe through all the chaos. Many people say Perks is the modern day version of Catcher in the Rye.

Seeing the movie has been a very long time coming, and though part of me wished there were certain people on either side of me, that I could squeeze their hands in all of the parts that had meaning to us, (oh yeah that’s basically all of the parts) it’s probably a good thing I saw this one alone. I had impeccable luck, walking into the theatre just as Charlie was narrating his first letter. There were only three other people in the audience. I sat on an empty row, towards the middle, with a completely unobstructed view (doesn’t happen very often.) This work of art immediately puts me on a level of vulnerability that’s basically unparallelled. I’m not too embarrassed to admit, that tears sprang in my eyes instantly. I was flooded with an overwhelming amount of emotion. This is honestly one of my favorite books ever, and I had been anxious about it’s transition to the big screen. (Of course, I should have had faith in Chbosky that it was just as important to him to get it right.) I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest, this film is just…amazing. Executed fabulously. Logan Lerman captured the essence of Charlie’s character in a phenomenal way. Paul Rudd was a perfect Mr.Anderson. Emma Watson was a wonderful Sam. Patrick (Ezra Miller), though not necessarily what I would have originally pictured…awesome. Even Mary Elizabeth (Mae Whitman) was just as annoying to me as she was in the book, (in a good way that mirrored those details.) I’m not even a huge Nina Dobrev fan, and she was a great Candace! I’ll admit, I have a certain envy towards everyone who was involved in the making of this film, what what an incredible experience to be a part of this project. The lucky thing about this movie, is that I could feel connected to it, without having to be in my own place that always made me feel like I related to Charlie’s letters. I could appreciate it, and be filled with gratitude that this masterpiece exists, but not have to be immersed in confusion or sadness to get there. My own infinite moments came in flashbacks pieced together as I sat in that big comfy seat. I thought of car rides to Ocala where the novel was discussed, or laying in the backyard reading it for the umpteenth time. Passing it to eager hands at a sleepover where it’d be highlighted and bookmarked to no end. (My copy shows a lot of love, haha.) My friend Katie got to go to an early screening in Chicago with a Q&A session with Stephen Chbosky, (and got to meet him!) She said he told her about some pretty exciting additional material that will be on the DVD, so that’s something exciting to look forward to! There is a lot of material from the book to cover, and I feel like it was done so well. The soundtrack and the score are both really great collections of music, and I would love to own the vinyl version! (Sam would tell you everything sounds better on vinyl.) When the movie was over, even though the other people left I stayed until the end of the credits. I tend to do that most of the time. There’s something peaceful about being the only one in a theatre, just you reflecting, and the glow of that giant screen. Even when I walked to my car, I had to sit there for a second, let it all soak in. I was so overcome by so many feelings. This movie reignited a passionate inspiration for life, reminded me of the intense depth of emotion, the ability to connect without caving in. The only downside is that I longed desperately to have a face to face conversation about it, and there wasn’t anyone for me to talk to. The majority of my Saturday I felt like I was bursting at the seams for just that…the desire for discussion. I kind of wish movie theatres had rooms like that you could go to once you exit a film, so you can chat with others about what you saw. (I’ll also admit to being emotionally exhausted after my viewing, but that might just be a me thing. I journaled and I took a nap because I was pretty much spent.) If someone asked if I wanted to go see this with them, I wouldn’t hesitate in responding “YES!” And I’ll be excited for its DVD release as well. If it’s playing near you, you should totally check it out. (Theatre listings and showtimes on the website!) But I highly recommend reading the book if you haven’t done so, yet.

If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, here you go! Are you wondering what that great song is playing in there? “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons!


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