I don’t watch many teen dramas. Not because I think they are shallow rather more along the lines of thinking they are overly pretentious. Maybe this is due to personal experience and my own general disdain for romanticized youth ventures. Regardless of such origins, however, I greatly enjoyed The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Set against the backdrop of a Washington high school several decades in the past we meet a young man named Charlie. He is a loser. Awkward, intelligent, and sensitive to those around him he is what society calls “the quiet type”. Needless to say he has no friends. That is until he chances across a group of fellow misfits; between a gothic Buddhist, a flamboyant Queer and the love of his life he makes the kind of friends only imaginable in euphoria present tails of childhood.
While the plot is one of surmounting isolation and loneliness it packs an emotional punch. This is thanks to the sup-plots relating to child abuse, mental disease, and homophobic bullying. While I never got to the point of crying (primarily because I am so macho *wink, wink*) the subject matter is serious enough to warrant a thoughtful reflection on one’s time in the educational hell of public school.
Whether it was making that one friend who treasured all your life, understanding and paling around with your favorite teacher, or surviving the year “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is an accurate, if not highly dramatic, retelling of the teen experience.