When I finished the book two weeks ago I was fervently hoping that the Charlie in the movie wasn’t too much of a crybaby. I am so glad he isn’t! Logan Lerman is a loveable, socially-inept Charlie. Lerman is handsome too so you wouldn’t really feel that he’s much of a loser though. His sensitivity onscreen isn’t irritating or pathetic, and in true wallflower fashion, he is an observer, an insightful one at that who documents his thoughts on his journal and on his typewriter. The book character quirks are there, although subtle. The movie portrayal also made Charlie an accidental drug user. Stephen Chbosky probably felt the need to tone down Charlie’s experimentation on drugs and cigarette addiction for mainstream purposes (so yes, in the book he’s more of a pothead and chain smoker).
Ezra Miller is fabulous as gay Patrick! He provides the comic punches, and his colorful personality just radiates fun and laughter in this trifecta of coming-of-age characters. Emma Watson, as his sister, fits the image of a sweet yet protective sibling and friend. Her light and carefree role liberates her from her Hermione typecasting and am glad she actually has chemistry with Logan Lerman ❤
This is one of those few moments where I love the movie adapation better than the book. The book is heavy in the chest because Charlie’s personal, familial, and social problems are too much to take for a boy with special needs. The film though gives much more optimism in Charlie’s survival of his dilemmas. He recovered well from his nervous breakdown, he is seen to have a supportive instead of indifferent family, and his friendship with Patrick and Sam looks like it will see him through all his future trials. It’s also a bonus that his love story with Sam has promise! Charlie’s tunnel scene, where he stands at the back of the truck and extends his arms to embrace the rest of his life was just a beautiful and poetic ending. Sigh.