February 15, 2013

The movie for the Wallflower in us all

At this stage in my life I have a house and a wife and a kid and a soul crushing corporate job and an iPhone and a thinning head of hair and a Toyota Venza… and it is pretty hard to remember what it was like to be in high school. There are a lot of films that attempt to tackle the teenage angst of going into the 9th grade. High school dramas are my favorite sub-genre of the coming of age film category… which is one of my favorite types of films altogether. Most miss the mark for me at capturing that genuine feeling of fear and excitement of entering the world of high school. The Perks of Being a Wallflower did not miss the mark.

I loved this movie. I had a genuine emotional response to it, which doesn’t happen very often. It isn’t perfect, and it goes to darker places than I ever had to deal with in my high school career, but it is so good. And while I never would have classified myself as a wallflower, I felt totally invested in the main character's plight.

The ending caught me off guard a little bit, but it was really well done. It made me feel hopeful and depressed at the exact same time. It was an end and a beginning, and you weren’t really sure that everything was going to be okay… but you wanted it to be so bad, and deep down you felt like it was going to be.

I think I felt more emotion from Charlie finishing his freshman year than I felt at any point during my transition into or out of high school, but like I said, it is hard for me to remember anything about that time of my life. Like most of us, all the things I cared so much about back then seem so stupid now.

The film did a very good job at capturing just how much hanging out goes on during high school. Based on my experience at high school I had the expectation that my life was going to be filled with endless hanging out. It didn't seem so special to spend an evening chatting with a friend because there was an over-abundance of it going on all the time. Back then doing nothing was a destination you arrived at no matter which road you decided to take. Now we search for it like a rat in a maze... a really difficult maze.

Watch The Perks of Being a Wallflower. If you don’t like it you can blame me.

Filed Under: , ,