Watching "The Perks of Being a Wallflower"
Published on November 7, 2012 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I review the new coming-of-age film "The Perks of Being a Wallflower."

Here's an excerpt:

"The coming-of-age film is one of my favorite genres, which might explain why I’m willing to give certain coming-of-age films, such as the flawed-but-likable 'Youth in Revolt,' a bit of a pass, while coming down harder than necessary on the ones that rub me the wrong way, such as 'Thumbsucker.' Because here’s the thing about coming-of-age films: Most of them are flawed. They tend to be overly earnest, wildly implausible and cliched. I love 'The Breakfast Club,' but the film critic Pauline Kael was on to something when she described it as 'a movie about a bunch of stereotypes who complain that other people see them as stereotypes.'

The new coming-of-age film 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' doesn’t really bring anything new to the genre, but is still worth seeing for its sensitivity, occasional wisdom and depth of feeling — the film is quite perceptive about the ways in which misfit teenagers relate to each other. One of my gripes about coming-of-age films is that they often revolve around characters who are desperate to be popular, rather than focusing on the kids who really couldn’t care less about any of that, and are just hoping to make it through high school with a handful of good friends and some good memories; since I was one of these kids, I know that they exist. Fortunately, 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' has a good sense of how high school misfits think and behave.

Click here to read the whole thing.

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