Nine Things I Noticed About "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" On My Second Viewing

It’s no big secret that I love “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” The 2012 drama is a film I ignored for a long time until finally sitting down to see what it was capable of offering. It ended up being my favorite film of 2012, and I’ve had a hard time getting it out of my head ever since re-watching it again in 2013. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is a drama I suggest to just about everyone, and it’s still a film I consider a masterpiece. After re-watching it and thinking it over, I thought about Nine things I picked up on after the third viewing.

10. The Record Charlie gives Sam is “10 Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops”
I was never sure in the first viewing, but the record Charlie gives Sam before she leaves to college is “10 Pearly Dewdrops’ Drops,” a song Sam constantly spoke of and always wanted. I assumed it was “Heroes” from David Bowie, but it wouldn’t have made much sense if Charlie found it so soon. It’s a cute little gesture.

9. The Movie has the chance to over expose in vogue people like Paul Rudd, Nina Dobrev, and Tom Savini, but Doesn’t
Tom Savini is a cult icon, Paul Rudd is a popular comedic actor, and Nina Dobrev is a very popular sex symbol and dramatic actress. The film has the chance to extend their roles and pad their lines for the sake of pandering to their fan base. But rather it sparsely uses them for their importance to the storyline. And it works big time with a sense of subtlety that’s rarely demonstrated in modern dramas.

8. Dylan McDermott’s performance is very Underrated
Though Dylan McDermott has only a few lines, his character has a lot of complexity and personal torment within him. He’s a silent man who’d rather not talk about the major problems his children are facing than open up and risk revealing emotional vulnerability. Charlie’s dad isn’t an unkind or uncaring man. He’s just a man who is too afraid to admit that his children are human, and it hurts him deeply.

7. I never knew Charles Dickens invented the term Cliffhanger
I am a well read and well informed man but I never knew Charles Dickens invented the term cliffhanger. Nor did I know he helped invent many other literary devices that’d be used by thousands of writers and storytellers.

6. Emma Watson is much more beautiful than I ever gave her credit for
Watson has managed to successfully act her way out of the Harry Potter pigeon holing with a slew of unique performances. In “Perks” she’s very complex and intriguing as the high schooler Sam, who is trying to outrun her reputation. The only person she really feels comfortable around is her stepbrother Patrick, who she really opens up to and trusts with her life. Watson shines as this unkempt beauty with a unique performance.

5. I Almost Want to Give “Rocky Horror Picture Show” Another Chance
The classic cult musical gets a lot of mention in “Perks” that’s used not only as a form of bonding for Patrick and his sister Sam, but as a means of Patrick being able to express his sexuality and have fun. While I’ve always really disliked the movie, I may be inspired to check it out and give it another chance.

4. A lot of people don’t realize the movie is set in the early nineties
Much of the most annoying points I experience when chatting about the movie is why it was so hard for Sam and Charlie to figure out what the David Bowie song in the tunnel is. And why they’re so centered on records and cassette tapes. It’s likely because it’s the early nineties, where the film is set. It’s not as easy as looking it up on the internet or googling it, folks. Back then if you heard a song but didn’t know the title, you had to wait for it again, find it in a record store, or request it on the radio hoping the DJ would know what song you spoke of.

2. I Was Never Sure of it, but Charlie’s beloved aunt Helen actually molested Charlie
According to message boards I’ve frequent, it says in the book that the family’s favorite aunt Helen  molested main character Charlie frequently. Hence why Charlie has an inability to be affectionate with most people, and feels he doesn’t deserve love. It’s also why he regrets wanting her to die in some respects.

1. After Charlie has the fight, the girl in Charlie’s writing class stops insulting him
For some reason, one of the female students is intent on making Charlie’s life at school miserable and is jealous at his over achievement. She even helps beat him up when he finishes a class assignment before everyone else. After Charlie saves Patrick’s life during his beating and beats up the guys attacking Patrick single handedly, she no longer taunts and teases Charlie. Maybe poking a person prone to violent outbursts is not a bright idea, and she catches on.

  • JeremyEM

    I really like this film too and it was a pleasure to read your article. As you say many people assume it would be easy to know of ‘Heroes’ and the director was asked about this (it may in the commentary on the DVD?). Anyway Mr Chbosky said that when he was that age in that place at that time he knew Bowie from his ‘dancing in the street’ era and only got to hear his earlier work sometime later.