Critic Reviews



Based on 36 critic reviews provided by
The movie is tough-minded: It zeroes in on Patrick's anger at dating a closeted football star, and it doesn't let Charlie off the hook for his cruelty or self-pity.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower hurts. It hurts because it depicts the loneliness, anxiety and all-out quivering mess of adolescence in a manner not often seen since John Hughes' heyday.
It offers the rare pleasure of an author directing his own book, and doing it well. No one who loves the book will complain about the movie, and especially not about its near-ideal casting.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower finds an unexpectedly moving freshness in the old clichés by remaining attentive to the nuances of what happens within and between unhappy teenagers.
Perks deserves points for going beyond the typical coming-of-age drivel aimed at teens.
Unlike most films about teenagers, the performances are happy-sad-realistic. Lerman, who plays the least expressive of the three principals, does a fine job at suggesting the active inner life of an externally inexpressive youth.
The acting is first-rate, and remarkably there's no sense that the sometimes tough material (which barely skirts an R rating) has been watered down to make it more palatable for a wider audience. I just wish Chbosky had changed that terrible title for the movie.
Back in the director's chair for only the second time, the filmmaker, like his main character, is a little unsteady on his feet. But thanks to his stars, the film - like the book - is a smartly observed study of a troubled teen's first year in high school.
While there are humorous and poignant moments, this angst-filled story of tender kisses, awkward dances, friends drifting apart, kindly English teachers, unrequited crushes and drug-addled partying has a nagging sense of deja vu.
Lerman is suited to the title role in that he plays Charlie as wide-eyed and rather unmemorable. Watson doesn't seem entirely relaxed as an American teen, though she does serve as a lovely first crush. Among the adults making brief but notable appearances is Paul Rudd, as a sympathetic English teacher.
It's populated by characters who are just too good to be plausible.
A heartfelt but rather generic coming-of-age dramedy.

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