After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.
David O. Russell
Robert De Niro
Based on the novel written by Stephen Chbosky, this is about 15-year-old Charlie (Logan Lerman), an endearing and naive outsider, coping with first love (Emma Watson), the suicide of his best friend, and his own mental illness while struggling to find a group of people with whom he belongs. The introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors, Sam and Patrick, who welcome him to the real world. Written by
When Patrick holds up his report card, the name at the top says "Patrick Nothing", a reference to his nickname in the book and the film. See more »
During a closeup of Sam and Patrick doing the "Living Room Routine" at the dance, Charlie's face can briefly be seen entering the left side of the frame, before he'd even stepped onto the dance floor. The shot immediately cuts to Charlie up against the brick wall and he steps forward to join Sam and Patrick. See more »
Dear Friend. I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn't try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have. Please don't try to figure out who I am. I don't want you to do that. I just need to know that people like you exist. Like if you met me you wouldn't think I was the weird kid who spent time in the hospital. And I wouldn't make you nervous. I hope it's okay for me to think that. You see, I haven't really talked to...
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Greetings again from the darkness. Brace for gushing. Last evening I attended a screening that included a fascinating Q&A with writer/director Stephen Chbosky. It reminded me of how personal and intimate and observant and incisive a well-made film can be. A well written script is so refreshing, and an exceptional script can be truly breath-taking. Mr. Chbosky takes the unusual step of directing his own screenplay based on his own novel (a 1999 bestseller), and he left me stunned and enthralled.
The popularity of the novel would typically make the film version a disappointment for its fans. Not so this time. Mr. Chbosky remains true to the spirit despite the need to edit for the sake of continuity and brevity. The key characters spring to life thanks to the efforts of four strong performances from young actors: Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson, The Three Muskateers) plays Charlie, Emma Watson (Harry Potter films) is Sam, Ezra Miller (We Need to Talk About Kevin, City Island) is Patrick, and Mae Whitman (Arrested Development) is Mary Elizabeth.
If you have read the book, you know the story ... you know the characters ... you know the themes. If you haven't read the book, I will spoil nothing. The brilliance is recognized only as you get to know these characters and slowly uncover their stories. What we discover is that, regardless of our age, we recognize these characters from our high school days. We know the introverted, observant Charlie who so desperately needs a support system. We surely recognize the attention-starved, lacking in self-esteem Sam who is the epitome of "We accept the love we think we deserve". And we all knew a Patrick ... the flamboyant one who sheaths his pain with an over-the-top act of public confidence. What Chbosky does is shine the spotlight on these characters to ensure that we really SEE them this time.
The themes reminded me a bit of a darker John Hughes film (that's a compliment). There were also pieces of two other really good films: Stand By Me and Almost Famous. The formative years of a writer determine the depths to which his or her work will reach later in life. Admittedly, the film is substantially autobiographical, so when Mr. Chbosky says it's a personal story, we begin to understand the foundation of his remarkable writing style.
"Welcome to the island of misfit toys." When this line is spoken, we realize that most every high school kid has thought the same thing at some point. These are painful and difficult times and as Mr. Chbosky stated, we should encourage kids to fight through this stage and get on to the next ... then able to find their true self. Clearly, the film made a strong impact on me. My favorite reaction to a movie is profound thought, and this one caused this in waves. The decision to release as PG-13 was wise. There is no excess of profanity or nudity to divert attention from what really matters ... the characters. I can think of no finer compliment to a writer and filmmaker than to cite them as the cause of my internal discussions related to their film. My hope is that you have the same reaction. (http://moviereviewsfromthedark.wordpress.com/)
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