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?