ROMANTIC DRAMA; 1hr 43min
STARRING: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller
The three amigos: from left, Lerman, Miller and Watson
Charlie (Lerman) is brainy and miserable, a lonely freshman wallflower at Pittsburgh’s Mill Grove High, psychologically damaged and resignedly dreading the years ahead. But not for long. Kindred spirits Sam and Patrick (Watson and Miller) are there to help save him from the sad fate of himself.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, written and directed by Stephen Chbosky from his 1999 novel, is set in the comparatively innocent early 1990s of Rocky Horror revivals and mixed cassette tapes. Charlie is plaintively innocent, too, head over heels for live-wire Sam and battling to keep his demons at bay as his past rises up to meet him. His square-peg coming-of-age is bumpy and bittersweet, and the three leads pull it off with unforced rapport. Miller, so ice pick–sinister in We Need to Talk About Kevin, is the vulnerable flipside here while all-grown-up Watson has moved on exponentially from Harry Potter ’s Hermione. But it’s Lerman who comes through in manifold colours, playing problematic Charlie from the heart.