Friday, December 5, 2014

A MOVIE FOR MARYANN



MY REVIEW OF ‘THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER’

Temecula, CA – Though me and my tee shirts are part of the fabric of T-town city council meeting legend, [rumor had it that one more appearance would lead to ‘black tie only’] I never put much faith in hearsay and always looked to the one person who seemed and still does, to be the sweetest, Maryann Edwards.

Though some of you may be waiting on a punch line or zinger, I only write what I see, since I don’t have a cat to be rescued anymore. 10 lives with me and you’re done.

Maryann was the only one who tried to understand the music scene that I was a part of, the underground part, or put another way, the ‘wallflower’ part. And to go along with our lady councilmember/mayor’s thrifty sense of management, watching this movie won’t cost you. 

If you are reading this, Maryann, keep your popcorn on the chair or it will get soggy from emotion that’s released from superb acting and complex issues, in a movie where you don’t know the story till the end. If Shawshank and Ferris had a baby, it would be Perks. Yeah, it’s like that!

First, Perks, is a movie that delivers that ‘hit in the face with a bag of shit’ moment, provided you don’t read the synopsis, which I didn’t. Other than that, read on.

This review is not going to be a spoiler, so if you look up the film past what I’m going to tell you, it’s your own fault. I will tell you this, and we all know how we are here. This movie, besides being based on a critically acclaimed novel, was also written and directed the author. It was released in 2012.


I ran across Perks while I was also getting the Bueller…Bueller…Edition. I mention this because if you enjoyed Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, you will enjoy this film as much but not because it’s as funny or outrageous. The bite to this movie was certified ‘Fresh’ by Rotten Tomatoes for a reason. Here’s why.

The story, like Ferris, has to do with seniors in their last year, but Ferris was at the center of his universe. Perks is as it says, about a wallflower. In high school, I was not a wallflower, but I knew who they were. Once I came close to knowing one and the vibe back made me understand why there are wallflowers. Perks is about a wallflower.

The pace, like in Ferris, and action move but instead of going from laugh to laugh, the viewer moves from poignant moment to moment. The plot is layered as the narrator advances the plotline just slightly ahead of the viewer and himself. It’s nice work if you can get it, and this movie gets it right.


The actors. It isn’t just a deep story, the actors paint the picture. Here, like Ferris, the ‘kids’ steal the show. 
When shooting the film, the main actors shared the same dormitory-like quarters in a hotel and became friends outside the movie. This is apparent by the emotion that leaps from the screen. A sharp script that makes you not want to miss a moment of dialogue makes full use of that personal chemistry.

The atmosphere. Ferris had a lot of atmosphere, Chicago, the Suburbs, even a parade. Alas, when you’re dealing with wallflowers, the atmosphere is a lot more subdued, more intimate, intelligent, and innocent; close but not claustrophobic. Unlike Ferris, you get those moments you never see coming that as if it was a horror flick, make you blink. Rather than a plot devise, the story which is never billed as ‘based on’, is entirely, dude. And that’s what makes it so cool. 

American writer Stephen Chbosky who published the story in 1999

Get to a Target and spend the best 5 bucks for this Christmas you will on yourself. Check the bargain rack, store front, not the entertainment department.

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