This is the best teen movie. Ever.
All the standard labels like "emotional" and "coming-of-age" and "quirky" apply to this adaptation of the popular young adult novel by Stephen Chbosky.
The film is about shy and awkward Charlie (Logan Lerman) navigating high school after suffering a bout of depression following his best friend's suicide.
He falls in with the most awesome alternative friends: The outrageous Patrick (Ezra Miller) and his clever, sexy stepsister Sam (Emma Watson), who opens him up to all the standard high school (movie) experiences - parties, dancing like you don't care at the prom, a painfully awkward first love (not with Sam, but with goth chick friend Mary Elizabeth, played by Mae Whitman).
But the good times - wonderfully punctuated by songs from David Bowie and The Smiths - come crashing when Patrick, Sam and the rest of the clique have to go to college.
Charlie is sent back into a spiral of bad feelings that eventually reveals some really bad things that happened to him as a kid.
While all the classic teen movie hallmarks are present, the movie never trades in stereotypes or shallow humour.
But it also doesn't hit you over the head with its "important lessons" - my favourite is when Charlie, consoling Sam about a bad boyfriend, quietly says: "We accept the love we think we deserve."
Still, you'll be a weeping mess just before the movie ends, but you also would have spent a good part of the movie laughing, so all's good.
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