Director: Stephen Chbosky
Stars: Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller, Paul Rudd, Emma Watson, Nina Dobrev, Reece Thompson, Mae Whitman, Dylan McDermott, Kate Walsh, Melanie Lynskey
With its young cast and high school angst vibes (seen via the early batches of promotional stills and trailers), writer-director Stephen Chbosky's adaptation of his own popular young-adult novel gave non-readers of the book the impression that, at best, it'd be a somewhat more thoughtful version of American Pie. Boy, were they dead wrong.
The emotional wallops stored inside the vastly underrated The Perks of Being a Wallflower are some of the most poignant felt in teen movie history. Hats off to young stars Logan Lerman (as an insecure kid looking for friendship while battling depression and other personal demons), Ezra Miller (as the perky yet susceptible-to-pain gay teen who befriends Lerman's character), and Emma Watson (Lerman's bubbly, heart-melting, seemingly unattainable love interest), each of whom give honest, raw performances that go well beyond the usual high school cinema levels and do justice to Chbosky's beloved characters.
Although some will argue the film is all too new to top an all-time list, we can guarantee you that just like the original book is a staple in every lonesome kid's locker, a copy of the movie will be a permanent fixture on the shelves of viewers (and not just movie lovers) everywhere. —MB, TA