Iffy for 14+
Book-based drama for mature teens tackles tough subjects.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Perks of Being a Wallflower (based on the same-named book by Stephen Chbosky) is an edgy, moving, and layered coming-of-age dramedy that's frank about the troubles and exploits of teenagers. You see them fret over their futures, push back against parental intervention, drink, make out, and use drugs. One girl also blithely jokes about being bulimic. Expect to see couples (both same- and opposite-sex) making out, teens bullying each other, and plenty of swearing. There's also a big reveal about a major, tragic trauma. Harry Potter's Emma Watson co-stars, but this is a much more mature role for her than Hermione.
- Families can talk about how the movie depicts teens. Are the characters and their decisions realistic? What about the consequences of those decisions?
- How does the movie portray drinking and drug use? Are they glamorized? If you've read the book, how does the movie's take on these subjects compare?
- How does the movie depict bullying? What should teens do if that happens to them? What should they do if they see it happening to someone else?
- Parents, ask your teens about the sense of alienation that the movie suggests teenagers have. Are real teens this disaffected and disillusioned?
The good stuff
Messages: Teens may sometimes feel lost or inconsequential, but when they find their footing and are able to tap into their authentic selves, they can feel (per the movie) "infinite."
Role models: Charlie has issues -- he blacks out when he's in a fight, for instance, seemingly out of rage -- but despite the challenges he's faced, he's a loyal friend with good intentions and a big, open heart. His friends, though juggling their own issues, are kind and supportive of one another.
What to watch for
Violence: One character is shown to have assaulted another who's defenseless (to provide more specifics is a big spoiler, but it's tragic). A truck is shown barreling straight for another car, the driver in peril. Teen boys harass a gay student and, at one point, beat him up; another rises to his defense, pummeling the others (viewers see mostly the aftermath). Another gay teen hides in the closet for fear that his parents and friends will disown him or worse. A boy hits a girl.
Sex: Both same- and opposite-sex couples make out (viewers see them kissing and groping each other), and there's talk of people having sex, though viewers don't really see it.
Language: Language includes "f--k" (once), "s--t," "ass," "a--hole," "jerk," "spaz," "piss," "slut," "hell," "goddamn," "oh my God," and more. The word "f-g" is used as a slur.
Consumerism: Brands seen/mentioned include Olive Garden.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Underage teens drink (beer and hard liquor), mostly at parties, where they also smoke weed. One teen also has an acid trip.
Fan Reviews provided by
Better than the book by NYPerson1
I thought the book was a little too cute and contrived. But, on the screen, the story really opens up and all of the actors give solid performances. I almost didn't recognize Joan Cusack--who doesn't get nearly enough work.
If I'm being honest with myself... by em.henn
The beginning of the movie was great. It was all set up very well.
The Sam and Charlie relationship was confused on screen. Instead of a senior-freshmen friendship and crush situation that evolved into something more (like the book) it was more of a flirtation throughout the whole film than ended in a full blown relationship.
The end felt rushed. Craig cheating wasn't brought to light with the drama that was necessary to awaken Sam and make her really see Charlie as an option.
Charlie's breakdown at the end was post-coital? That seemed a bit strange to me, especially for an abuse victim.
Differences from the book aside, the movie was decent. Most moments are captured perfectly, but the ending was too rushed for it to feel like a great film.
And In That Moment I Swear I Was Infinite by nycgirl223
This is one of the best books I have read and this movie was the best adaptation that it could possibly be. I loved it! This movie will make you laugh and cry. I just can't even put into words how good this was and how everybody should go see it so this movie can change your life like the book changed mine.
Best Book to Movie by mrs.capt.kirk51
This was a great movie, a wonderful coming of age story. It is one of the best book to movie adaptations I have ever seen, probably due to the author of the book also being the screen writer and director. I think the movie was well cast and the actors were spot on. I recommend this to anyone who has ever felt alone in the world. I really can't say enough good about this movie.
Great Movie! Great Performances. by sparkvark111
I just saw the movie today and it was very well put together. Everyone?s performances where top notch and very genuine. Some of the situations in the book where presented very subtlety for the film or unsaid. Stephen Chbosky just let the dialog and the natural camaraderie developed during the filming drive this movie; this is very evident.
Infinite by illusiognarly
infinite... that's what this movie will be. A new cult classic! Charlies journey to find himself is a wonderful uplifting struggle against the days of high school i was instantly transported to the days i both hated and loved. Go see it with a good friend
A Wallflower to beat all Wallflowers! by Calylily
Bravo! Great movie making in a generation that struggles with it. Ezra Miller . . . so glad to see him again after slamming it in the movie City Island! I knew I was bound to see him again . . . with talent like that, who wouldn't!! He led this movie to greatness and not without performances by Logan Lerman and of course Emma Watson. And, like them, Ezra has "It" - something that no matter what, even if you are good actor, if you do not have "It" you cannot succeed. Ezra just happens to have it in buckets! Great movie - Bravo!!
Brilliant by janie.foucher
Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller were perfectly cast -- Logan and Emma had me fighting back tears in the end and others were crying. The book itself has been my favorite for YEARS, but Stephen Chbosky brought his book to life in a magnificent way. I cannot wait until it comes out on DVD. The Perks of Being a Wallflower was funny, cute, heartbreaking, and definitely a must-see. Thank you to everyone involved for making my favorite book into my new favorite movie!
the perks of being a wallflower by carterdonna55
Really good movie which has some really fun moments along with some very emotionally
charged scenes. This movie covers a lot of material. I was rather surprised with some of
the material covered.
Well worth seeing. by atnfan
An excellent movie with moving, nuanced performances by the lead actors. I found myself engaged and actually caring about what happens to the main characters. The film deftly handled the troubling issue of child abuse and the subsequent emotional scars left behind. Anyone who has ever felt that they didn't quite fit in will find some character to identify with.