The Perks of Being a Wallflower
I was really looking forward to watching The Perks of Being a Wallflower. What introvert wouldn’t be keen to see a movie that celebrates introversion?
My husband even said, “I didn’t think there were any perks to being a wallflower,” to which I replied, “You need to read The Introvert Advantage!”
Well anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. The characters and the story were interesting, the acting was good, and it was especially fun to see Emma Watson in a role so totally different from Hermione Grainger. But in terms of fulfilling what the title (and the description on IMDb) promised, I was frankly a little disappointed.
To me, Charlie (the main character) wasn’t an introvert – he was a young man with a mental illness – and that’s a stereotype we’re trying very hard to dispel, that introversion and mental illness are somehow interconnected.
Charlie’s self-esteem and mental well-being hinged very much on his interaction with other people. He needed and wanted to be popular. He didn’t crave alone time, or even seem to value it very much. Yes, he was quiet, but that in itself doesn’t define him as an introvert.
Yet, I suspect that many of us can relate to this line:
I know who you are, Sam. I know I’m quiet… and, and I should speak more. But if you knew the things that were in my head most of the time, you’d know what I really meant. How, how much we’re alike and, and how we’ve been through things…
Overall though, the movie was great, and it’s easy to see why it has won nine awards and been nominated for 22 others.
Have you seen or read The Perks of Being a Wallflower? I’d love to know what you thought of it.
The Introvert Retreat blog where this was originally published is no longer online, but if you’d like to network with other introverts, join us in The Original Introvert Retreat Group!