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Guest Blogger: The Perks of Being A Wallflower

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I met a lovely, fun, bright freelance writer named Candace at the BlackStar Film Festival, so I asked her if she'd be interested in guest blogging for Tinsel & Tine... And here's her first post!

When I first read "The Perks of Being a Wallflower", I finished the book in one day within a span of seven hours. I don’t remember the last time I’ve read a book from beginning to end, having to run to the bathroom afterwards to wash my face from crying. As a result, I had to see Stephen Chbosky’s film adaptation of his book, more now than ever after reading it first.
I understand why it’s being hailed as “The Breakfast Club for a new generation”. It’s a film with an important story to tell, elevated with inspiring performances by someof Hollywood’s young talent - Logan Lerman (”Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief”, “The Three Musketeers”)Emma Watson (the “Harry Potter” series, “My Week with Marilyn”), Ezra Miller (“Beware the Gonzo”, “We Need To Talk About Kevin”).

The Perks ofBeing a Wallflower is a tribute to the lonely experience of high school, adolescence, and in the midst of it all, those who observe seated on the benches of high school football fields or at school dances: the wallflowers. Lerman’s character, Charlie, is the epitome of a wallflower: a freshman with no friends who writes in his journal about his everyday experiences in school, seeing everything but never having meaningful conversations with anyone. His best friend committed suicide, his older sister is in a relationship with a pushover who makes her mix tapes she dares not listens to, his parents, while very loving, are consumed with being parents doing the best they can, unable to truly understand him, and his classmates show their love with bathroom swirlies and derogatory putdowns about his sexuality. Fortunately, these character and plot introductions are established in the first fifteen minutes of the film, and then Charlie introduces himself to Patrick and Sam (Miller and Watson), and the movie really starts to pick up steam, throwing Charlie and viewers into a world that, whether it looks familiar or unfamiliar, feels warm and whole.

It’s a joy to watch Charlie eat his first pot brownie, get his first kiss, experience the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” for the first time, and dive into the high school experience with peers who are eager to teach him what it means to be a good friend and a good person. What makes this movie work so well, even though there were several plot twists missing that could only be read within Chbosky’s novel, are the universal themes of love, loss, puberty, and high school. Also, the actors are one with their characters and themselves as actors and human beings, and it shows in their performances. The chemistry between Lerman, Miller, and Watson is so palpable and endearing that I wouldn’t be surprised to hear about their life-long friendships well beyond the life of this film. I could not take my eyes off of either of them, especially Ezra Miller, who exudes a quality of fearless acting that I see in the more experienced of his acting peers such as Johnny Depp, Michael Pitt, Harold Perrineau, and Mae Whitman, who you may remember as a child actress in the Sandra Bullock vehicle, “Hope Floats”, but whose popularity surged higher ever since her portrayal of Roxy Richter, one of the Seven Evil Exes of “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”. You also can’t forget Paul Rudd, who is always fun to watch, showing his mellow side as Charlie’s English teacher who notices Charlie’s aptitude for writing. Rounding out the cast are other familiar faces, such as Nina Dobrev from “The Vampire Diaries”, Melanie Lynskey, Dylan McDermott, Kate Walsh, Johnny Simmons, and Nicholas Braun. The cast is magical together and I didn’t find myself once thinking about how another actor or actress would have been more suited for any of the roles. This is one of the most common complaints from die-hard fans of YA book adaptations to film (here’s looking at you “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games”). 

Most people who go to see “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (unless you are below the age of 12) will either relate to it purely because they are human and are either a teenager or was one once upon a time. Years go by, popular culture and fads change or come back in cycles, but the rite of transitioning from juvenile to adult will come to pass. Whether you are one of the popular kids or a wallflower, your high school years will be lined with heartache and confusion. But there will be times where, in your search for the greater meaning of everything around you, you will find moments of feeling infinite, just like Charlie. 

Candace Smith is a native Philadelphian and graduate of Syracuse University (BA) and City University of London (MA). After spending a few years living in London, Candace returned to Philadelphia and continues to forge a career as a freelance journalist, writer, blogger, actress, and host. Besides interviewing intriguing personalities for Urban/Suburban Magazine, she is also currently contributing her knowledge and skills to various artistic movements, publications, websites, and podcasts such as REP Radio, AFFRM, and Hipolitics. It's hard for her to pin down her favorite movie and food of choice, but she is a HUGE fan of a great Indian curry and the film "Repulsion" by Roman Polanski is in her top ten must-sees. 

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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?
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