Otherwise known as When Percy Met Hermione, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a charming Indie drama written and adapted by Stephen Chbosky. Starring a magnetic young cast including Ezra Miller, Logan Lerman and Emma Watson, Wallflower weaves a familiar tale of young love, mix tapes and teen angst. A moving tale of love, loss, fear and hope, and the unforgettable friends that guide us through life. Oh, and Paul Rudd is in it. Always a bonus.
Watson is infectious, Lerman is everything a naïve adolescent should be, and they both nail their roles emphatically. The trials and tribulations of teen life have been done to death and the tacked on melodrama of the final act feels a bit rushed, but with a striking soundtrack and heart plucking moments aplenty (usually when Watson is asked to do emotion), The Perks of Being a Wallflower blossoms into something magical. Who needs a magic wand anyway?
From the director of Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin comes a movie about teen angst on a grown up scale. That’s a midlife crisis to you and me. After years of marriage, Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) are having a meltdown. As they try to balance romance, careers, parents and children, they must also figure out how to survive the rest of their lives together. Featuring Melissa McCarthy at her foul-mouthed best, Jason Segal, Chris O’Dowd, Megan Fox in all her majesty, John Lithgow and Albert Brooks, This Is 40 can’t be accused of being short on talent.
What is can be accused of is lacking focus and plot. At a potentially hazardous 134 minutes, This Is 40 doesn’t always hit the mark and the lack of drive does mean that the story derails from time to time. Having said that, This Is 40 is funny. Gut punchingly funny at times. The entire cast are on the top of their game, particularly Rudd and Mann, and This Is 40 lands a blow to the funny bone so frequently there is a strong possibility you’ll fall in love with this ‘sort of’ sequel all the same. AW