Not having watched the trailers, I went to the movie mainly because if the cast: Emma Watson not playing Hermione, Logan Lerman not being D’Artagnan or Percy Jackson, … The fact is that I thought it was a romantic comedy about kids in high school (like so many others), where the guy will eventually get the girl. This movie is nothing like that! (Well… it is high school and he kind of gets her… but it’s much more then that!).
Charlie (Logan Lerman) is an outsider and terrified to be starting high school due to the recent suicide of his best friend and dealing with his own mental illness. He is bullied on his first day and befriends his English teacher (Paul Rudd). While watching a football game, he starts to talk to his senior classmate Patrick (Ezra Miller) and soon becomes friends with him and his stepsister Sam (Emma Watson), as well as their friends Mary Elizabeth, Alice and Bob (Mae Whitman, Erin Wilhelmi and Adam Hagenbuch), that introduce him to a world of parties, alcohol drugs and good music.
Meanwhile, his parents (Kate Walsh and Dylan McDermott) are worried about him, and don’t know quite how to help him, while his sister Candace (Nina Dobrev) is in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend (Nicholas Braun).
Charlie falls in love with Sam, but she has a boyfriend, and he ends up in a relationship with Mary Elizabeth that puts at risk his friendship with everyone when it ends badly. And Patrick is stuck on a relationship with a closeted football player (Johnny Simmons), that even though he loves him, he’s not strong enough to face his parents.
Conflicted about why people choose to stay in an abusive relationship, his English teacher tells him that “we accept the love we think we deserve.”
He sees everybody he loves graduate and prepare to be off to college, while he has to endure high school for another 3 years. He gets to spend Sam’s last night at home with her, but soon after they all leave he has a breakdown, feeling responsible for the death of his aunt when he was younger, he calls his sister with a clear intention of hurting himself.
After he’s committed to an institution, he finally admits to Dr. Burton (Joan Cusack) that his aunt abused him sexually when he was a little boy. After 2 months he’s released and gets a visit from Sam and Patrick and the three of them go for a ride in the tunnel… “And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”
“I am both happy and sad at the same time, and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.” – this pretty much sums up the movie
The movie is set up in early 90’s, so there’s a lot of references to old music and mix tapes, which is great!
The actors are amazing is this movie! Logan is perfect as a total mess of a kid, Emma is just perfect, Ezra is a huge revelation (he has the potential to be BIG), it’s great to see Mae (not that) far from her role on Parenthood, Nina in a role that’s not Elena on The Vampire Diaries (although when she takes that slap and says that she provoked him, I wanted to slap her again!), Kate and Dylan in the big screen… and is always good to see Paul Rudd in a serious role!
It brings out just the perfect amount of each emotion, but it’s impossible not to fell something while watching it… I loved it!