Yesterday I saw The Perks of Being A Wallflower. The movie is based on Stephen Chbosky's novel by the same name. Charlie (Logan Lerman) is beginning his freshman year carrying the weight of a tragic middle school experience and not expecting high school to be any better, the desire for friends, the hope for a first love, and a dark cloud of emotion over the deaths of a friend and aunt. Charlie falls into a friendship with a group of seniors who are all dealing with their own issues.
The cast is wonderful, filled with notable actresses/actors featuring Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Logan Lerman, Dylan McDermott, Kate Walsh, Mae Whitman, Joan Cusack and Paul Rudd. Logan Lerman as Charlie makes anyone watching the movie surely remember the awkwardness of coming to age during the adolescent experience.
So here's the thing, the movie is 102 minutes long and based on the first 90 minutes of the movie I would have recommended the film for youth workers to see because we take our vocation seriously and we want to study culture and the adolescent experience (see trailer below).
However, it is the final approximately 12 minutes that totally rocked me and led me to write this post to encourage all youth workers that this is a must see film. I don't know if the film touched things deeply personal or if I was just watching this at the right (or wrong) time but the movie reminded me that hope can spring forth even in the midst of our tragic lives. The Perks of Being a Wallflower also reminded me why I haven't been able to walk away from the vocation of ministry, especially to youth and their families. I think our youth ministries are filled with the kinds of young people portrayed in this movie. The movie also demonstrates the importance of caring adults (Paul Rudd as English teacher) in the lives of young people.
I don't believe I've spoiled anything with this post. I just want you to see it. Maybe you won't be caught as off guard as I was but if you see it you will thank me.
"We accept the love we think we deserve."