Saturday, October 6, 2012

Hello, Heartbreak! (Film Review: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower)

It must be the week for remembering first heartbreaks. On Thirsdays, hearts were broken on the breakup episode of "Glee," and I was touched and affected by it, and today, seeing "The Perks Of Being A Wallflower" made me tear up once again. Heartbreak is always a bitch, ain't it, and I would be lying if I said I would be immune to it. Honestly, I remember reading Stephen Chbosky's book when it first came out but I cannot, for the life of me, recall anything about it, except that it was a thin book was under the MTV book arm. So, I wasn't expecting much, thinking that the book wasn't memorable for me. The movie is, though. It tells of a story of a young man (Charlie, played with infinite charm by Logan Lerman) who starts high school with baggage: he has been having visions from bad memories, plus his best friend killed himself. He is intelligent, but shy and unsure of himself. Then he meets Patrick and Sam, half-brother and sister, played by Ezra Miller and Emma Watson and they take him in under their wings and introduce him to their misfit circle of friends. And Charlie falls in love with Sam, even though Sam is already attached to someone else. It's a recipe of heartbreak, of course. And we go through his motions of joy and sadness. Chbosly wrote the screenplay based on his book, and also directs. It's a fine effort, perfecting the balance between the intense sadness and joys of high school life and all that entails. And although the movie was set around twenty years ago, it might as well be from a century away: feelings seem to be appear more intense before the dawn of iPhones and computers. There is brilliant acting all around, with Lerman leading the way. Watson is luminous, and Miller is as fine as he was in "Let's Talk About Kevin." For better or worse, this will remind you of your very first heartbreak, and its message - "We Accept The Love We Think We Deserve"- will resonate with you even as you wallow in middle age.

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