Do you know what it takes to feel infinite? If you’ve ever read Stephen Chobsky’s coming of age novel, The Perks of Being A Wallflower, you might have an idea. Even though the book was published over a decade ago, it’s had a lasting legacy among alternative alienated teens for its honest unflinching depiction of youth.
Recently, there’s been rumors swirling around of a film adaptation starring Emma Watson as Sam, the apple of the narrator, Charlie’s, eye. Those can now be confirmed with the news that Summit Entertainment—the same studio responsible for those freaky vampire Mormons in Twilight—is interested in distributing the film. Prior, John Malkovich was producing the project independently and the film’s future was uncertain.
News of the project moving forward will either delight or worry die-hard fans of the book. The Perks of Being A Wallflower was deeply personal, tackling issues of rape, incest and homosexuality with a bravery that was uncommon and controversial for young-adult fiction. In fact, in 2009, Perks won the honor of being third on the American Library Association’s list of “most frequently challenged” books. When any piece of literature, film or album resonates with an outcasted faction of people, there is usually a sense of ownership that develops amongst its fans. They get protective and territorial over the work and fear that, by becoming bigger with a mainstream audience, it will lose its “specialness.” It’s an interesting reaction. Do fans of Ke$ha feel the same sense of possessiveness as fans of a band like Orange Juice do? Were fans of Eat, Pray, Love worried to see it turned into a film?
Granted, there’s been no vocal outrage yet, and the fact that the writer, Stephen Chbosky, has written and plans to direct the film, helps assuage any fears fans might have. I, for one, am very excited to see Perks on the big screen. As a vulnerable closeted teen, the book brought me much-needed comfort during the scary days of high school. I just hope they hire someone cute to play Patrick, Sam’s gay stepbrother. He always seemed like a babe to me.