The Perks of Being A Wallflower

p.s. having read the book, you may become emotionally unstable knowing what his Aunt really did to him. 

Been a 'wallflower' isn't all bad. At least not in this film.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower ventures into a whole new world of teens growing up, trying to fit in and trying to escape from being a 'wallflower'. But needless to say, the film is about how being a wallflower has its perks and that is nothing to be ashamed of.


Charlie is a 15 year old boy who writes letters to an unknown recipient. Sounds creepy, right? Well he's not and if you don't sympathise for him in the first 10 minutes, then the film or book isn't for you. 
He notes how he is starting high school. How without his best friend Michael, who committed suicide, it's going to be difficult. 
Charlie is the definition of a wallflower. He shows this sort of excessive hurt, but shelters it with writing and trying to participating in the real world. He doesn't understand the outside world, just like a lot of people don't. But he REALLY doesn't know how to cope with the world, people or himself.

Soon enough Charlie finds a friend, Patrick. Patrick is gay and Charlie, nor Patrick care. Patrick shows a new kind of flamboyancy. A retro, hip and new age of pop culture mixed with a vision of art and mystery. 


Sam. She's something. She has this broad outlook on life, and how it's more 'live in the moment' than 'over think it all'. Being the complete opposite of Charlie means she is an influential character for his well being. She's someone who teaches everyone around her to love life, and that life is hard, but it's also inspiring, and you can learn so many things from it. She does have Patrick as a step-brother and so the mighty trio surfaces and the plot thickens. 

She claims she has a boyfriend, but that doesn't stop Sam from reaching out to Charlie. Whether this is sympathy, intrigue or sincerity, she sees something in him. I think Sam sees how stuck Charlie is, all she wants to do is understand what this sheltered hurt is that Charlie holds. So maybe it is intrigue with a mixture of idolising him. After all, the story line does mould itself around the exposure of 'being different' is bigger and bolder. 

The thing with Patrick is he seems all put together and acts like he understands himself. Brad, the 'popular' footballer at his school is also gay. (But shhhh it's a secret!)
Patrick does teach him how to learn, love and admit that being gay isn't bad thing. It's normal and he doesn't have to fit to the stereotype that has been created for him by society. But first, Patrick has to deal with the feeling of Brad having NOTHING to do with him at school, bullying him, manipulating him in front of others. Patricks ignores all that, because Patricks intense belief and love for Brad rules over all the above. 

Brad's dad finds out about him being gay, beats him and this re constructs the whole persona Patrick has. He's broken.  
A fundamental part to the film is when Brad's friend confronts Patrick in the lunch hall, calling him a 'fag'.
 Patrick: You gonna do anything?
Brad: What are you talking about?
Patrick: I'm talking about your pet ape just tripped me. Gonna say something?
Brad: Why would I?
Patrick:  You know why.

Brad: I don't know what kinda sick shit you're trying to pull, but you better walk away right now. Nothing.
Patrick: Fine. Say hi to your dad for me.
Brad: Whatever, faggot.

Patrick: "There's this one guy, queer as a 3 dollar bill. The guy's father doesn't know about his son. So, he comes into the basement one night when hes supposed to be out of town. Catches his son with another boy, so he starts beating him. But not the slap kind, the real kind. So the boyfriend says Stop! You're killing him! But the son just yells Get out! So, eventually, the boyfriend just... did."

All Patrick did was say things to cover up, keep himself that little more numb, that little more shut out from the world. But it couldn't last for ever. And he knew that. 

Charlie finds through his exploring of the outside world, that we except the love we think we deserve. Charlie tries to announce his feelings for Sam, but it's never being quite as easy as that. 
We know Charlie has memories about his Aunt...his favourite Aunt, who died on his birthday. We know something happened, something more than what is shows. (Again the book is your answer to finding this out!)

It's Sam and Patricks last night before they go off to college. 

Charlie is still so lost. He thinks the real world is easy and that you can rely on it without pain, torment or loss. 

Sam: "You can't just sit there and put everybody's lives ahead of yours and think it counts as love"

 Something between them make them kiss. Charlie describes how he isn't ready. 

 Charlie's emotions flood in as he is bombarded by the memories of his Aunt Helen. By Sam touching Charlie's thigh on the previous night when they kissed, the memories of his Aunt engulf him. But his love for his aunt made him repress these memories, making him have many more problems - a wallflower for his whole life being one minor issue. 
Charlie is admitted to a mental hospital, when he is released he his greeted by Sam and Patrick.

 Charlie realises his past, is his past... 

"We don't get to choose where we came from, but we can choose where we go from here."

 "This one moment when you know you're not a sad story. You are alive, and you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And you're listening to that song and that drive with the people you love most in this world. And in this moment I swear, we are infinite."

His letters stop. His attitude changes. He participates in the real world. And he appreciates the REAL 'Perks of Being a Wallflower'. 



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