The Perks of Being a Wallflower

By: Stephen Chbosky


The most glaring change between the novel and the movie comes from the telling of the story. The book is told in letters, so it is understandable how there must be change in story telling in order to portray the story in film form. Throughout the entire book Charlie expresses his thoughts in the words he writes in the letters, so in the movie Charlie must portray his struggle to let it out. The movie does contain some narration of Charlie reading his letters, but the magnitude of what Charlie holds back is minimized while some other characters are allowed to shine.

How it Looks

Minor Plot Differences

The movie can't contain everything the story divulges into. This may be startling, seeing as the book is only 200 pages, but Charlie manages to say a lot in very little words. For one, the Christmas scene and Charlie's birthday scenes are different. In the book Charlie spends his birthday and Christmas with both sides of his family, while in the movie Charlie spends his birthday with his friends and Christmas with his family. In fact, many of the plot developments with Charlie's family are minimized in the movie. Charlie's sister does not have her pregnancy scare in the movie, none of Charlie's extended family is introduced beside Aunt Helen, and Charlie's brother plays a diminished role. Not to take away from the movie, the movie just chose to focus on other aspects of Charlie's life.

The Sadie Hawkins Dance

While the Sadie Hawkins Dance was very similar to the book, the dance embodies the beginning of the relationship between Charlie and Mary Elizabeth, which has many discrepancies. For one, the romantic side of their relationship is downplayed in the movie, as are all the romantic parts of the movie. The movie does express the same ideas the book does, just differently. Like the talking on the phone. In the novel Charlie merely complains, while the movie makes light of the problems Charlie has with Mary Elizabeth, and makes humor out of what exactly it is that Charlie has to put up with while dating Mary Elizabeth. Charlie's sister is replaced by his parents in the movie with the incentive to end the relationship.

The Flashbacks

How the film said what Charlie couldn't

Charlie expresses much of what he has to say to his friend directly in the book. The film tackles this in a different way, with the implementation of flashbacks. Many of the scenes with Aunt Helen are flashbacks, as well as much of the background with the characters. This is also how the movie portrays the fight. While the fight has a very similar order of events, excluding the tripping and Patrick's words, it is embodied differently in the movie. The actual fight is displayed in a flashback at the end while everyone talks about it before the climax. This is done similarly throughout the movie.

Tomas D'Amico

Pearce 4

AP English Literature

28 May 2013