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A Comparison: Perks of Being a Wallflower

By Owyn Cooper in Arts & Culture

As an earnest lover of both books and movies, I can almost never stand when a book is adapted into a movie. Everything that I’ve imagined for the book has been twisted in a way that can never be fixed when I go to read it again after watching the movie. Thanks Hollywood.

But I digress.

Since 2012 is the year of book-to-movie adaptations, I decided to read the book Perks of Being a Wallflower since the movie was to come out on September 21. Also because I heard nothing but good things about it.

I ended up finishing it in 2 hours. I could not to put it down. It was real, funny, sad, pure. All sorts of good things. But I still wanted to see the movie since I love Logan Lerman and Emma Watson. At the movie, I go in with low expectations. No movie is ever as good as the book. The book is the standard that the movie will never reach. I’m assuaged when I see that the screenplay was written by the book’s author, Stephen Chbosky. That makes most changes okay, enough. Throughout the movie, I go through a full cycle of emotions. I burst into laughter, I almost burst into tears and I burst into extreme bouts of other random emotions. This movie was so moving, that I almost couldn’t believe it was based off a book. One of my favorite books of all times. That’s not okay. The book is always supposed to be better. But no. These were equal. I didn’t know whether to be heartbroken or elated. I loved them both, but not in the same ways. In the movie, I loved how close the movie was to the book. There were slight changes, creative liberties, but it’s understandable. I loved the actors’ vibes that they brought to their characters. Especially Ezra Miller’s performance as Patrick. And the book focused heavily on the music, and it was cool to actually listen to the songs in the soundtrack. In the book, the whole epistolary-style (written in the form of letters) is a major plus for me. The characters were very raw and relatable, which is always a good trait. It was also very comforting; I read it on bad days and instantly feel better. And the slight mystery of the letters being written to “Friend” and being from an anonymous and lost teen “Charlie” made it feel like any and all people could be going through it. Again, it’s comforting. If you do make the well-made decision to see this movie, I recommend reading the book first. I saw it with my mom and, her having never read the book, she complained that she didn’t understand the movie well enough. As a reader of the book, I found it perfectly understandable. So, if you want to have a more pleasurable reading experience, then you should read the book first.

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