I watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower last weekend and it was great and it made me both happy and sad. I related to Charlie, the main character and an outcast of sorts. I could not relate to the Charlie who finally found a place he belonged. But good for him.
I just wondered if there was a story out there about a boy who never found his place. Where was the tale of the guy who sat at the lunch room table by himself? Where’s the book about the boy who reached the end and found nothing was resolved? Stories like that don’t exist because people don’t want a depressing ending. They need to have hope for the boy because they are the boy and if the boy doesn’t make a connection, they fear they won’t either and no one wants to consider that could be a reality for them.
So we set him up with some good friends and a crush and he gets kissed and holds hands under the stars and it’s book perfect. And we feel both happy and sad because we don’t have that but the boy is us and so if he finds it, so will we.
But some people know better.
In the movie (and book), Charlie writes letters to someone, chronicling a year in his life, but we are never told who he writes. And it made me want to write letters to anonymous people, too. What if I selected an address out of the phone book and wrote to this stranger, told him or her what was going on in my life? What if I sent several strangers these kinds of letters? What if I followed up every month or two? “Hi, it’s me again. This is what has happened since the last time I wrote you.” But I’d keep myself anonymous as well. A letter written from the heart and sent to one stranger from another.
Of course, it could be borderline creepy.
I think there’s something kind of romantic and beautiful about reaching out to a complete stranger, making an intimate connection, sharing personal struggles and triumphs through a filter of anonymity. I like the juxtaposition and the…well, borderline creepiness of it, to be honest. I just know if someone sent me a random anonymous letter that let me glimpse into their life, I’d be fascinated. Well, it was a good life with good writing, of course. I don’t need anyone sending me their school schedule or grocery list.
Oh, and I listened to the author/director commentary after I watched the movie and it was almost better than the movie. He delves deeper into the book and the movie and the characters and how he felt about making the movie and writing the book and all the feels he tried to capture and it was just nice and warm and beautiful and I recommend it.