Stephen Chbosky's best-selling young adult novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower is essentially a neutered Catcher in the Rye: its psychologically fragile teenage hero lacks Holden Caulfield's sociopathic tendencies, and Salinger's volatile urban setting is replaced by a safe suburban one. This big-screen adaptation, written and directed by Chbosky, doesn't advance the source material, though it preserves the book's sensitive tone and affectionate characterizations. When the novel was first published in 1999, some of the subject matter (mental illness, teen sex, homosexuality) was still somewhat taboo; now Chbosky has to present the story as a Gen-X period piece to retain its dramatic urgency. With Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller.
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