My friend Courtney and I decided to go check out this movie a few nights ago after I deliberated over it for a while. This book was a landmark book when I was in highschool, just a few years back. I remember reading it my freshmen or sophomore year and having it change my life in obscure, yet deliberate ways. When I began reading the book, I hated it. How simplistic and insulting, I thought to myself. Just because it’s a story about high school kids, doesn’t mean it has to be written so plainly. The book is small and has large text and I was that jerk who was reading Dostoevsky in the corner of the library during my off hours. But I came around. It was when I realized that no matter how simple the book was, I couldn’t deny the parallels I felt toward my life and the characters.
I decided I was a mix between Charlie and Sam and somehow together their experiences made me feel not so alone when I read the book. I finished it in a single day, but the story has never left me. That’s why I deliberated when the movie came out – what if it was terrible? You know, one of those stories about teenagers that some silly adult thought up but never connected to.
I walked into the theatre with Courtney in tow and immediately asked the ticket man if he had seen the film. “Yes, and I hated it,” he replied. “It’s cheesy, no one’s life is like that.”
My life was like that. Maybe this guy had a great high school experience. Maybe he was a football star who wasn’t secretly gay. Or maybe he was a nerd who happened to have a lot of friends. I don’t know – doesn’t everyone have a hard time? Anyway. I have never cried in a movie before. Unless you can the single tear that slid down my cheek when Dumbledore died… but I mean this movie made me tear up several times. It might be my new favorite movie. Maybe. It’s definitely up there…
The scenes were crafted so well. Everything felt so surreal, like I could be sitting back on my bed in high school, staring at the Christmas lights strung around my room all year long, listening to my mom’s old records and painting my nails, wondering why everything was so hard. Or like I was the new kid in the cafeteria, just trying to find a place to sit and not be noticed. Or like the time I made my first friend in school by typing notes on our calculators in algebra because we wore the same unisex band tee to school that day.
It reminded me of the time my friends made me a trash bag dress so I wouldn’t throw up aftershock on my clothes. Or when my boyfriend wrote “I love you Rachel” in sidewalk chalk all the way down my street in front of my house and pounded on my window in the rain. I remembered the heart break of asking out a guy for the first time, only to be told he agreed to date some other girl during first period and he just couldn’t break up with her in third period.
The movie hit home. Maybe it won’t do that for everyone, but it did for me. These people could have been my own friends in school. I could have had these experiences. Some of them, I did. My heart was pounding when I left the theatre – this one will make it onto my shelves for sure. The Perks of Being a Wallflower holds a small special place in my heart and I hope you guys all enjoy it as much as I did!