Magazine article The Spectator

Cinema Young Love

Magazine article The Spectator

Cinema Young Love

Article excerpt

The Perks of Being a Wallflower 12A, Nationwide The perks of being a wallflower are few and far between, in my experience, and I'm not even convinced you can be a wallflower if you are as ravishing as, say, Emma Watson, who modelled for Burberry whenever her Harry Potter schedule would allow, which isn't the way it usually works for wallflowers, but what do I know, really? In fact, this being a teenage coming-of-age drama, I will now hand over to a teenager, although not a willing one, as he is anxious to escape to 'top field' to do 'nothing' with 'just people'. Still, I have bribed him with the promise of a tenner and a lifetime supply of Lynx (Africa) and so here he is, quizzing me:

What is it about? And be quick, as I have to go top field to do nothing with just people.

Why don't you go out with some unjust people for a change, like Kim Jong-un, who might be available. You'll never know unless you ask.

Ha-ha. You're hilarious.


OK, it's set in Pittsburgh in the early Nineties and is based on the 1999 novel by the American author Stephen Chbosky, who also directs. I'd never heard of him, or the book, but apparently it's sold zillions and is studied in schools. It sounds like it may be a younger generation's Catcher in the Rye, not that anything could be another Catcher in the Rye, one of my favourite books of all time which you dismissed as 'boring' after Chapter Two, you big, lazy chump.

It was boring. But I did like The Kite Runner, didn't I?

You d id , bu t then you stopped reading it halfway through when you changed English classes and no longer had to read it. It was like: 'Now I don't have to enjoy this book, I won't.'

Why would I? Are we done?

OK, our central character is Charlie (Logan Lerman), who is nervous about starting high school because he is shy and unpopular and fears no one will sit next to him at lunch, which nobody does. He views himself as an alienated outsider but is then taken up by a fellow older student Sam (Emma Watson), who views herself as an alienated outsider, and her flamboyantly gay step-brother Patrick (Ezra Miller), who views himself as an alienated outsider, and their punk-rocky friend Mary Elizabeth (Mae Whitman), who likes herself and has B no self-esteem issues. Only kidding. She also views herself as an alienated outsider.

You are so hilarious, mum. Is Perks as bad as Kes, which you once made me watch?

Kes blew my find when I first saw it. …

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