The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) In high school movies, everyone is looking for someone to date; friendship is what's taken for granted. (Even the nerds have it.) The Perks of… 2012-09-14 PG-13 PT103M Romance Logan Lerman Emma Watson Mae Whitman Kate Walsh Lionsgate
Movie Review

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

MPAA Rating: PG-13
ALL GROWN UP Emma Watson takes on her first major post-Harry Potter role
Image credit: John Bramley
ALL GROWN UP Emma Watson takes on her first major post-Harry Potter role
EW's GRADE
A

Details Limited Release: Sep 14, 2012; Rated: PG-13; Length: 103 Minutes; Genre: Romance; With: Logan Lerman and Emma Watson; Distributor: Lionsgate

In high school movies, everyone is looking for someone to date; friendship is what's taken for granted. (Even the nerds have it.) The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a graceful and beguiling drama adapted from Stephen Chbosky's 1999 novel (Chbosky wrote and directed the film himself), gently flips that pattern on its head. It's set in 1991 in a tranquil section of Pittsburgh, where Charlie (Logan Lerman), a freshman who has spent time in a mental ward, is quiet and shy mostly because he's frightened of how precocious he is. He falls in with a clique of smart kids, most of whom are seniors, and though he thinks he's in love with the no- nonsense Sam (Emma Watson), the drama isn't in whether they become an item. It's in watching Charlie snap out of his wallflower cocoon by waking up to the real romance in his life: the one with his newfound chums.

Along with Sam, those friends include Patrick, a kind of teenage Oscar Wilde played by the mesmerizing Ezra Miller, and Mary Elizabeth (Mae Whitman), a punkette feminist whom Charlie starts to go out with after she practically ravishes him. The movie is tough-minded: It zeroes in on Patrick's anger at dating a closeted football star, and it doesn't let Charlie off the hook for his cruelty or self-pity. Yet Perks also finds an original and lovely nostalgia in wised-up kids from the '90s going to see Rocky Horror, or standing up in the back of a pickup truck as it zooms through a tunnel blaring David Bowie's "Heroes," a song that the movie turns into an ecstatic expression of the beautiful solidarity of youth. A

Originally posted Sep 19, 2012 Published in issue #1226 Sep 28, 2012 Order article reprints
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Weekend of Jul 27 Box Office Source: Rentrak Corp.
Rank Title Weekend Gross* Weeks on Chart Cume. Gross* EW Grade
1.
Lucy
Universal
$44.0 1 $44.0 B
2.
Hercules
Paramount
$29.0 1 $29.0 C-
3. $16.4 3 $172.1 B+
4.
The Purge: Anarchy
Universal
$9.9 2 $51.3 C-
5.
Planes: Fire & Rescue
Walt Disney Pictures
$9.3 2 $35.1 B
6.
Sex Tape
Sony
$6.0 2 $26.9 C+
7. $4.6 5 $236.4 D+
8.
And So It Goes
Clarius Entertainment
$4.6 1 $4.6 C-
9.
Tammy
Warner Bros.
$3.4 4 $78.1 B
10.
A Most Wanted Man
Roadside Attractions
$2.7 1 $2.7 B
* in millions