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"The Perks of Being a Wallflower": What critics are saying

From left, Reece Thompson, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Mae Whitman in "The Perks of Being a Wallflower." Summit Entertainment

(CBS News) "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" arrives in theaters Friday in limited release, and critics have already weighed in on the film.

Stephen Chbosky wrote and directed the film adaptation of his 1999 young adult novel, which stars Logan Lerman as a troubled high school freshman who falls in with a pair of older students (Ezra Miller and Emma Watson).

Here's what some reviewers are saying about the film:

  • "Instead of trying to mimic the book's epistolary voice, Mr. Chbosky brings you into this familiar world through the usual cinematic points of view, by way of Charlie's eyes, voice and flashbacks, but also through the ubiquitously hovering camera. The results are likable, unsurprising and principally a showcase for the pretty young cast, notably Mr. Miller, who brings texture to his witty if sensitive gay quipster." - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times.
  • "'The Perks of Being a Wallflower'" may not do anything groundbreaking, but it tells a familiar story in small, thoughtful ways." - Christy Lemire, Associated Press.
  • "'Perks' deserves points for going beyond the typical coming-of-age drivel aimed at teens. Chbosky's compassion for his characters is absent any hint of condescension. And that's reflected in performances that leave the feeling you've seen something good and true." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone.
  • "While there are humorous and poignant moments, this angst-filled story of tender kisses, awkward dances, friends drifting apart, kindly English teachers, unrequited crushes and drug-addled partying has a nagging sense of deja vu." - Claudia Puig, USA Today.
  • "There are both advantages and drawbacks to The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a heartfelt but rather generic coming-of-age dramedy." - Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter.
  • "The movie is tough-minded...Yet 'Perks' also finds an original and lovely nostalgia in wised-up kids from the '90s going to see Rocky Horror, or standing up in the back of a pickup truck as it zooms through a tunnel blaring David Bowie's "Heroes," a song that the movie turns into an ecstatic expression of the beautiful solidarity of youth." - Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly.
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