THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER

Once again, as he did in PERCY JACKSON and the 3:10 TO YUMA remake, Logan Lerman takes sub-par material and makes it watchable. A Hughesian retread of garden variety teen angst, dime store homophobia and glossed-over mental illness, this movie cuts more corners than a kirigami artist, with crisis resolutions that come about so easily, you wonder why they bothered inserting them in the first place. Its concerns — fitting in, dealing with heartbreak, overcoming family trauma — have been the stuff of better films like THE BREAKFAST CLUB and CHARLIE BARTLETT. And while Lerman (who’s 20) at least looks the part of a high school freshman, his love interest, Emma Watson, is two years older and comes off like a senior who must have been repeatedly left back. Ezra Miller, whose performance has been critically lauded, is trapped in a poor-bullied-gay-boy role that requires little more than wearing eye liner and facing the world with a brave mask of flamboyance. Snore. It’s left to Logan’s intense likability to carry things along — which he does admirably, but this is a young actor whose breakout film has yet to be made. — Jeff Schultz

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