The Perks of Being a Wallflower


I watched this film over a month ago on a tiny screen in the back of a chair on a long haul flight from Malaysia to the UK so, truthfully I can’t remember much about it. I also have a niggling feeling that the environment was not conducive to enjoyment (you may notice this from the following…).

Pre googling  The Perks of Being a Wallflower recollections

Awesome soundtrack, really awesome soundtrack.

I was confused about how a junior was friends with a senior (again – Australian, I have no idea how the US school system works). Turns out they are only a year apart which makes sense as to why the seniors would at all want to hang out with a junior.

There is a strong mental health theme through the film and I actually felt that it was a little too strongly pushed so that it seemed these kids were quirky because they had mental health issues or were gay or unloved or something. Sometimes people are just quirky. Also the main characters with the mental health issues had very bad childhood experiences which led to their mental health issues. I thought this oversimplified mental health problems. There is often no easily identifiable “reason” for people to develop mental health issues.

I remember thinking the film was kind of boring and the big reveal is a little too convenient. (All mental health issues suddenly explained by past trauma – woah – conveniently answering the age old question from those less aware of the realities of depression “why are you so sad?/What have you got to be sad about?”).  The gender swap of the usual suspects in terms of the reveal was simply done for shock value and I think really underplayed the seriousness of the issue that was revealed.

Emma Watson and Logan Lerman really brought their characters to life considering the amount of quirkiness their characters had to display. Unfortunately, for the other actors, their characters turned into one big ball of “oh so quirky”/”oh so sad”/”look at my quirky haircut, clothes, words, lifestyle choices…”.

Too much quirk.

Post googling The Perks of Being a Wallflower recollections

Oh that’s right, the main characters best friend had recently committed suicide – more mental health issues – and another reason for LL to be so sad and quirky. I wish I could take it more seriously, it is such a serious issue, but it was really mentioned as a passing thing, a plot device, and a reason for the seniors to be nice to LL.

I suppose in the end I felt like this film was a soft touch in terms of dealing with the issues that are so real for so many people and where a main part of the story.

I will just point out here that I have dealt with mental health issues of my own and I have dealt with traumatic events that have triggered mental health problems but weren’t the cause. I’m not saying I’m an expert just that I’m me and that may explain my reaction to the movie – plus I was watching it in an aeroplane.

I remain unsure what the perks of being a wallflower are. Ability to get your full quirk on? I suppose that’s a pretty good perk actually.

Awesome soundtrack. I would buy the soundtrack.