There are Perks in Being a Wallflower, but they don’t come easy, seems to be the message of this engaging story of an introverted high-school student entering adolescence with the help of two older friends, Sam and Patrick.
Although freshman Charlie (Logan Lerman) is gathered up by older Patrick (Ezra Miller) and Sam (Emma Watson), he is completely out of his depth and wears an understandably stunned expression.
Sometimes a sage, at other times the much loved butt of the joke, his inadvertently comic lines are very funny and in perfect contrast to the more calculated antics of his self-conscious friends.
Meanwhile, the life and soul of the party is the effervescent Patrick, overtly gay, who steers the group with a witty, bitchy repartee that gives the film its intermittent energy. He also does a mean transexual cameo in the high school’s production of The Rocky Horror show.
In her biggest role since Harry Potter, Watson’s character is an uneasy combination of cheesy high-school heroine and emotional survivor. Despite an eviscerating childhood trauma she remains sweet, sexy, unassuming, motherly and loving.
For some reason it’s not a very convincing mixture, but that is as much to do with the role as anything else. All credit for managing to appear not too bright, she has successfully shaken the off the image of the intellectual child genius that was Hermione Granger.
In their shared journey through adolescence, the only thing that really happens is that they come out at the other end, but despite the gentle unfocussed plot this production is well-acted with a good soundtrack, unusual choreography, some great comic performances from the supporting cast and is easily the Film of the Week.