Charlie has just started High School as a Freshmen and doesn’t have any friends, he has been struggling to deal with life and had spent some time in hospital. We slowly find out what has been bothering him and events which happened as a child which have left a damaging effect on everything he does.
The film really does show how much of an impact you can make on someones live and really help them to turn it around. Even if to begin with you don’t even realise it, not a bad thing at all because then it is all real love and friendship.
Everything changes for Charlie when he meets Patrick and Sam who are stepbrother and sister. They welcome him into their world with other friends and it really does help him attempt to move on with his life. But I think an important aspect to think about and consider is that he actually needed help and to talk about what happened to him before he could truly get over it all. Or maybe just learn how to deal with the memories and move forward instead of looking back, as he probably would never really get over what happened to him.
As a viewer we aren’t entirely sure what happened to him and why he always mentioned his Aunt Helen and we were shown flashbacks to when he was a lot younger which were memories triggered by a situation which was currently happening to him. His parents had no idea what has really stemmed his behaviour and don’t really understand their son.
The film really does have some outstanding moments when learning about true friendship and experiencing different types of love. Actually not only love but relationships, I thought the student teacher bond between Charlie and Mr. Anderson is easily one of the best on film. It shows how they can really inspire you when you are willing and wanting to learn. Especially the lesson about how we accept the love we think we deserve, which is why we often pick the wrong people to be with. I think that is a truly incredible life lesson in all honesty and I am sure you can think of so many people you know who have done that, you may even be thinking about yourself.
I also love the Rocky Horror moments as well, truly fantastic to have that included to show the cult following behind it all. Along with Charlie though Patrick and Sam have a lot of baggage as well, with secrets that make life pretty difficult for them as well. Coming together from broken homes when their parents married each other, Patrick is openly gay and proud of that his secret boyfriend the star football player is not open about it at all. Sam was passed around many of the boys older than her when she was younger and trying to cope with well herself.
So the three of them really do form tight bonds and friendships, even with Charlie’s mistake which pushes him back towards depression and not being able to cope. I think it really is an important film in terms of the messages it carries for your teenage years which aren’t really the easiest. I think with that I have to therefore praise the performances from Lerman, Miller and Watson as they really do make you believe the characters and the situations they are placed in going through many emotions throughout the film. Taking in first and young crushes and thinking about when you should just go for it and jump in because you never know it might just turn into real love.
This is the second time I have watched this film and I found it just as powerful on this occasion as I did the first time. Don’t get me wrong though it is not an easy watch at times especially when Charlie’s story unfolds and that is pretty much the worst possible thing to think about, but hopefully a film like this can help anyone who unfortunately ended up in that situation and it happening to them.