Perks of Being a Wallflower review

Saturday was one of those nights when my friend and I browsed Amazon Prime for a movie to watch, and after hearing a lot of great things about The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I told my friend we should watch it.

Afterward, our only reaction was, why in the world do people like this so much?

(Disclaimer: I realize I just wrote a post about the lack of message in most movies, but this is a rare one that has a strong message that people love.)


It’s a story about a freshman in high school named Charlie who struggles with depression and meets some seniors who befriend him and help him. Sounds heartwarming and fun. There’s a great cast, too.

It had great potential, and for once it was a realistic take on how hard being a teenager can be, rather than romanticizing high school.

But the way the seniors “help” poor little Charlie is by helping him numb his pain with drugs and alcohol. Some of the senior girls like him, which seems more like lust than love, and so “love” story in this seems both creepy and ambiguous, since it’s never clear what actually happens with them at the end.

Eventually Charlie seems to deal with what’s wrong with him, but the way they show that he’s happy is by him spending time with his friends at the end and saying, “We’re not just some sad story because we’re alive right now. And in this moment, I swear we were infinite.”

Okay. First of all, that doesn’t even make sense. Second, I was left feeling sad and empty because the writer was obviously trying to help us grasp something that will make us happy and cure our depression, but it wasn’t enough. It was like a band aid on a mortal wound.

Normally, I realize Hollywood movies are mainly for entertainment, and I could just accept something like that as a poor attempt at making a happy end. But so many of my friends, even Christians, have hailed this movie mainly for the message.

Ultimately, kids like Charlie won’t find happiness in people or drugs or love. People will always fail. Those attempts at happiness will always fall short. Who cares if you feel “infinite” for a moment? At the end of the day, you’ll still be depressed.

People aren’t happy because they need Jesus to fill the hole in their hearts. Stories like this make me sad because people try to use them to make them feel better, but it won’t work.

So don’t waste your time with this movie. It’s a depressing look at the depravity of man and offers no hope at the end.