Stephen Chbosky’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is undoubtedly “The Catcher in the Rye” of my generation. Most of us have read it, either by our own will, or begrudgingly for an English class in high school. Either way, those who have read the book have unexpectedly fallen in love, and carried its heartfelt message about the agony of growing up in their hearts.
When it was announced that a movie adaptation was in the works, most of my friends were up in arms. I was still undecided about the matter; after all, I had not heard any details about the film yet. I did wonder: is a film adaptation necessary for a book that has already had such an impact on so many young people? Could it be a way to reignite interest in the novel?
A lot of my friends had criticism for the celebrities picked to play the title characters, “Emma Watson as Sam?? Preposterous; she could never play the part right.” Most people have forever typecast her as Hermione Granger from the “Harry Potter” series, but from what I have seen in the trailers so far, Watson is the perfect Sam. She is a fantastic actress who has depth and a sense of wisdom about her that I immediately felt from Sam in the book. I do not think anyone else would be able to play Sam the same way that Watson does.
I am also very excited about Logan Lerman playing the 15-year-old boy most of us can identify with, Charlie. He is almost exactly how I pictured Charlie to be in terms of looks and personality. Lerman had a breakthrough performance in the movie “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” for which he garnered several award nominations. Lerman is not a widely known actor, which makes him perfect for playing the soft-spoken, little wallflower.
Some people may fiercely disagree with me, but I feel the movie may be a good thing for the book. With young, attractive actors such as Watson and Lerman, the movie may draw in an entirely new audience. Maybe the movie will entice a whole new generation of young people to read the book, and these young people will grow to cherish it-much like we have. A movie has the power to touch people immediately on a visceral level, and this could be beneficial to spreading the incredibly relatable story of our friend Charlie.
I did wonder for a while if the movie was necessary. There are some things Hollywood just should not mess with. The book has become a cult classic among many people my age. These people claimed they were never the same person after reading it. After hearing nothing but good things about the film, I can say with excitement that I will definitely be seeing this movie. With the film’s release slated for this coming Friday, hopefully I will be able to say I can carry this movie as close to my heart as the book.
Kristin Fenchak is a second-year student majoring in english. She can be reached at KF763925@wcupa.edu.