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Living In: Perks of Being A Wallflower

by Maxwell Tielman

When I was fourteen and entering my first year of high school, I didn’t really know quite what to expect. If the bulk of late 90s teen movies produced during my youth were any indication, high school was a scary, exciting place filled with sex, drugs, shopping, and actors in their thirties. When I entered high school on my first day of classes, I expected to find a tightly policed social hierarchy of nerds, jocks, and bleach-blonde cheerleaders. In reality, that couldn’t have been further than the truth. Rather than a Mean Girls-style social breakdown, the things that defined people and their lives mirrored the real world— meaning that they were far more nuanced than the two-dimensional Freaks n’ Geeks of film. What sets the 2012 teen flick Perks of Being A Wallflower apart from the standard adolescent fodder is not that it strays from these often hackneyed stereotypes, but that it utilizes them in such a refreshingly accurate way. Directed by Stephen Chbosky, the author of the beloved novel that the film is based on, Perks tells the funny and poignant story of an introverted fifteen year-old named Charlie. Plagued by a troubled past and a not-too-distant mental collapse, Charlie begins his freshman year of high school as a loner, observing life from the periphery. It isn’t until after befriending a misfit band of seniors that Charlie’s formerly quiet life becomes turned upside down as he experiences love, lust, and deep friendship for the first time.

Although the plot line of Perks might sound familiar, Chbosky’s expert direction and connection to his characters allows for a film that pulsates with life and believability. With strong performances by Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller, and a post-Potter Emma Watson, the film’s heartbreaking sincerity and razor-sharp wit add new dimensions to the standard teen movie tropes. —Max

1. Floral Skater Dress | 2. Portable Manual Typewriter | 3. Vintage Blender | 4. The Catcher In The Rye | 5. Rocky Horror Picture Show | 6. Girls’ Skinny Headbands | 7. Mixtape USB Drive | 8. Benjamin Moore New Lime Paint | 9. Red Solo Cups

1. Green Skinny Suit | 2. Eskuche Headphones | 3. Smiths Poster | 4. Trapper Keeper | 5. Smashbox Lipstick | 6. Black Le Pen | 7. Green Le Pen | 8. The Beatles White Album on Vinyl | 9. Vintage Panasonic Boombox

Film: Perks of Being A Wallflower

Year: 2012

Director: Stephen Chbosky

Starring: Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller, Emma Watson, Paul Rudd, Mae Whitman, Dylan McDermott

Production Design: Inbal Weinberg

Art Direction: Gregory Weimerskirch

Set Decoration: Merissa Lombardo

Costume Design: David C. Robinson

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