The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Self-Cannibalize Your Own Book


Review written by Robert D. Patrick

Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson

Dear friend,

You might not want to hear this, but I think you should know they took out much of the dialogue from the book and forfeited the novel’s emotion by cranking up loud music and inserting jokes about the Olive Garden. I know this because I watched the movie and thought of how the inner monologue was lost in translation. It’s strange because the director was also the book’s author. I guess things are just like that when you change mediums and things go awry (that’s a word my teacher taught me). Something about catching lightning and not knowing what to do with it? Oh well.

I guess Stephen Chbosky thought that he had a good thing going and that he could recapture some of his story’s magic by casting a popular young actress and some young up-and-comers (I think that’s what they call them). For some reason my family isn’t really mentioned all that much, like they were in the book, because I guess character development wasn’t as big of a deal for the movie version. I bet you think that’s weird. I know because you wouldn’t ever do something like that. Anyway, the background of my character is pretty important – since it has to do with my sister and maybe even how she was treated by people – but maybe audiences wanted the Spark Notes of my life (sometimes I like to use Spark Notes, too, for schoolwork. I cant be all that mad).

Because of all of the stuff I just mentioned, there is a sense of emptiness in my character. Instead of a personality created by circumstance and experience, I am nothing more than a caricature of a teenager. I am sort of proud of that line. I will leave it here. Most importantly – and I think you’ll agree, from what I know and believe – is that my thoughts and feelings are sort of, well, not there. Some things you just cant adapt into a movie. Can you imagine Catcher in the Rye as a movie? I read that recently and I think that would be weird. Mostly because the inner monologue is the heart of the book. Sometimes the words are the story and not the story itself. Does that make sense? Maybe not financial cents. Sorry that joke was bad but I cant think of another one to replace it. I hope you get a chance to read a good book. I like them a lot. Even the one I’m in. Maybe you can read that instead. I promise it doesn’t make me look too cute or too prefab or any of those words. People must really like this movie because it’s not as bad as other teen films, but that doesn’t mean it’s, you know, good or anything. You can assign emotion to anything. Well, bye for now.

Love, Charlie

Author: Rob Patrick

The program director of the Olympia Film Society, Rob is also a former San Diego Film Critics Society member. He has written for The East County Californian, The Alpine Sun, The East County Herald, The San Diego Entertainer, and the San Diego Reader. When he isn't curating a film festival, he is drinking rosé out of a plastic cup in Seattle or getting tattoos from Jenn Champion.

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