The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Director: Stephen Chbosky
Year Released: 2012
Rating: 1.0

Or, The Perks of Being an Afterschool Special: Attractive White Kids with Problems Edition. A high school freshman with mental issues (Logan Lerman) befriends two seniors who are step-siblings - Ezra Miller and Emma Watson - who take him to parties and hang out with him and show him what trivial teen drama is all about (Miller's romantically involved with the closeted star quarterback for the school, Watson has a cheating boyfriend). Chbosky takes his acclaimed novel (which I read years ago and really liked) and tries converting it to the big screen, except as the old adage goes, just because it works on the page doesn't mean it works when filmed: too much of this does, in fact, come across as My So-Called Life revisited complete with awkward kisses, bad dialogue ("Are you baked?" "Like a cake!") and a cringe-worthy third act that involves Lerman "breaking down" again, a fight in the caf (including homophobic slurs) and awful use of Bowie and Eno's "Heroes" (while driving around Pittsburgh). Ezra Miller is movie's sole bright spot, as he turns a potential caricature of an openly gay youth into a lanky bundle of confident energy: when he's not on-screen, the movie suffers because of it.