Director: Stephen Chobsky
Length: 1 hour 42 mins
Genre: Drama, Coming of Age
Available on Amazon and YouTube
Charlie is a teenage protagonist with no friends at the start of high school, but that slowly changes when he meets Sam and Patrick. it’s a Gen X, coming-of-age story, but I feel like it’s the kind of story that sticks in your mind, not because of what the protagonists suffer but because there’s so much hope to be found. The characters aren’t shaped because of their traumas, it’s in spite of them. This film hit me hard in the feels. It was extraordinarily good, I don’t know why I waited so long to watch it. I especially loved the Rocky Horror scenes that they used, it complemented the tone of the film quite spectacularly. I remember the “Don’t Dream It, Be It” scene is particularly touching. The music’s ethereal qualities remind me of what it’s like to be in love and it fits the scene perfectly.
That being said there were some creative decisions that I didn’t agree with as a film about mental health, such as keeping it intentionally vague about Charlie’s diagnosis. But I’ll chalk it up to being a creative decision. I will give mild to moderate trigger warnings for themes but overall they weren’t explicit, and the narrative never focused on them.
I know that this is a movie came in print, and shocker, I actually read the book! However, a book is never the same experience as a movie, even if the director is the writer of said book. The experience was very different, books leave things up to you to interpret in ways that movies never do. I don’t know if that makes it closer or further from the original intent of the book in question, because I’m no film student. But what I can tell you is that it’s worth your watch.
Rating: 4.5 stars
- Dead Poets Society (1989)
- Wonder (2017)
- Paper Towns (2015)
- It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010)
- Charlie Bartlett (2008)
- “Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson
- “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky
- “Words on Bathroom Walls” by Julia Walton
- “An Abundance of Katherines” by John Green