Coming-of-age movies can elicit their audiences’ joyful, sad, and nostalgic feelings. A teen struggling to fit in or an adult who survived high school can relate to these films. If you’re looking forward to stories like these, you’ll enjoy the 10 Movies like Perks of Being a Wallflower.
All About Perks of Being a Wallflower
|Adapted from||Perks of Being a Wallflower novel by Stephen Chbosky|
- Logan Lerman as Charlie Kelmeckis
- Emma Watson as Samantha “Sam” Button
- Ezra Miller as Patrick Stewart
- Mae Whitman as Mary Elizabeth
- Paul Rudd as Mr. Anderson, Charlie’s English teacher
- Nina Dobrev as Candace Kelmeckis, Charlie’s sister
- Johhny Simmons as Brad
Perks of Being a Wallflower is from the best-selling novel by Stephen Chbosky. The movie, set in the 1990s, reveals the story of Charlie, a freshman hesitant to begin high school. Like most teens, he faces the age-old dilemma of fitting in and joining the right crowd.
After many failed attempts to sit with a group, two seniors, Sam and Patrick, welcomed him with open arms. Sam and Patrick are half-siblings who also had challenges to overcome on their own.
Patrick is openly gay, while Sam has an unfair reputation clouding her sweet persona. The trio had a unique friendship made more colorful by Mary Elizabeth and Adam, who joined their group.
Charlie thrives on his group’s love and support. He learned to be more adventurous and open with his feelings.
Through this artsy and non-conformist group, he discovers a lot about himself and overcomes his insecurities. However, traumatic memories from his past still haunt him from time to time. It led to a revelation that no one expected.
This movie touches on essential issues connected with raising teens. It shows that no matter what generation you were raised in, young adults face universal topics such as fitting in, sexuality, and depression.
The casting of the movie was exceptional. Emma Watson shed her Hermione persona to become a new person in Sam.
Ezra Miller and Logan Lerman played their roles to a tee. It showed the treacherous waters of high school life in a relatable way. Parents should watch this film with their kids to discuss socio-emotional issues crucial to teens.
If you got hooked on this film, there are other movies like Perks of Being a Wallflower that you might enjoy.
1. Flipped (2010)
English 1h 30m IMDb
Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: Madeline Carroll, Callan McAuliffe, Rebecca De Mornay
Like, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Flipped is another coming-of-age film based on a young adult novel. It revolves around the story of neighbors Juli Baker (Madeline Caroll) and Bryce Loski (Callan McAullife). The two met in second grade, and since then, Juli has been in love with Bryce.
However, Bryce does not reciprocate those feelings. He is even annoyed with the attention he’s getting from Julie. After unfortunate incidences involving Juli’s favorite tree and her chickens, Juli’s love for Bryce begins to fade. Then, Bryce’s perceptions of Juli began to shift. He’s starting to see Juli in a different light.
In the tradition of director Rob Reiner’s endearing dramas, Flipped invokes nostalgia and pure love. It explores the complexities of young romance in a time stripped of social media and the internet. The sensibilities showed in the film appeal to young and old alike. The music and cinematography bring its audience back to simpler times.
2. The Edge of Seventeen (2016)
English 1h 44m IMDb
Director: Kelly Fremon Craig
Stars: Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson, Blake Jenner
In this movie, Hailee Steinfield plays Nadine, a loner trying her best to navigate high school. Having a famous brother doesn’t help her self-esteem, though. Fortunately, she met Krista, who became her best friend.
However, things worsened when she discovered Krista and her brother were going out. Nadine feels misunderstood, frustrated, and alone. Feelings that make high school worse than it is.
Like Perks of Being a Wallflower, the teen in this film has a teacher to whom she can turn. In the former, there was Paul Rudd, an English teacher. Meanwhile, the latter has Woody Harrelson’s character.
This history teacher gives advice and listens to his student’s rants about life. It’s a refreshing take on coming-of-age stories. There were light moments that made it relatable for young and old alike. The vibrant script and the catchy music make it a memorable film.
3. The Art of Getting By (2011)
English 1h 23m IMDb
Director: Gavin Wiesen
Stars: Freddie Highmore, Emma Roberts, Michael Angarano
This movie revolves around George, a high school senior, slacking his studies. He realizes he doesn’t want to answer tests or do his homework. His family and the school administration can’t find anything wrong with him.
He isn’t addicted, abused, or deprived. He just had an existentialist thought that homework has no use since everyone will die anyway. Then he meets Sally, a beautiful girl with a complex personality. They feel they are kindred spirits and begin a complicated friendship.
The movie “Art of Getting By” navigates what goes on in a teen’s mind. Sometimes kids act up even without an abusive o traumatic experience. Finding out who they are in this vast world makes school and relationships difficult.
This 2011 Sundance entry perfectly captured emotions through its lighting and cinematography. Emma Roberts and Freddie Highmore’s acting has transcended from the child characters they used to play.
4. Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl (2015)
English 1h 45m IMDb
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Stars: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke
This Sundance award recipient is a touching movie about teenagers facing severe issues such as sickness and death. It’s about Gregg, a high school senior who tries to be as anonymous as possible during all his years in school. He avoids deep friendships and romantic relationships to cope with the tumultuous high school life.
His only companion is Earl, who shares his passion for making short film parodies. One day, his mom forces him to befriend Rachel, a girl in his class diagnosed with cancer. What began as an awkward start blossomed into a beautiful friendship and vital life lesson.
This movie deserved all the accolades it received from Sundance and film critics. It’s not the usual movie dealing with cancer. It has light and funny moments that make it more relatable. The teen actors were so natural in their roles that the audience felt they knew them.
5. The Spectacular Now (2013)
English 1h 35m IMDb
Director: James Ponsoldt
Stars: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Kyle Chandler
Like Perks, this coming-of-age film is also a book adaptation of a YA novel. It’s the story of Sutter Keely, a popular boy drinking way too much. He’s contented with his mediocre life: partying, working at a men’s clothing store, and breaking up with another popular girl.
Until one day, he passed out on Aimee’s front lawn after another night of drinking. Sutter made it his mission to help shy and sweet Aimee come out of her shell. It was supposed to be a rebound project but turned into a relationship.
If based on the trailer alone, one may think this movie is yet another typical teen romance movie. However, this film is more than that. It conveys a message about discovering one’s true self and realizing dreams. The main actors, Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, gave stellar, believable performances.
6. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
English 2h 2m IMDb
Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro
This highly acclaimed and award-winning film stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert de Niro. It revolves around a former teacher named Pat who had to stay at a psychiatric hospital for bipolar disorder.
Upon his court-ordered release, he stayed with his parents. He then met Tiffany, a young widow who is having mental health problems as well. What started as an awkward attempt to build a friendship blossomed into a beautiful relationship.
This movie is similar to Perks of Being a Wallflower since it deals with mental illness. It shows how having friends can enrich your life and help you with daily struggles.
It tastefully explored the challenges of mental health- the medications, the judgment, and the paranoia. Lawrence and Cooper had unbelievable chemistry and believable acting skills. The natural dialogue and flow made this film deserving of its awards.
7. Short Term 12 (2013)
English 1h 36m IMDb
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Stars: Brie Larson, Frantz Turner, John Gallagher Jr.
Short Term 12 is an acclaimed independent film about teens in a foster care facility. A young counselor, Grace, tries her best to care for the scarred and traumatized kids.
Grace and her colleagues also have challenges in their personal life. However, they must make difficult decisions and balance everything to provide each one the extraordinary life they deserve.
Like Perks of Being a Wallflower, this movie deals with teens’ mental health. It shows how support from adults can help them overcome their hurdles. This film may have had a low budget, but it still raked in several international awards.
Brie Larson’s first significant role was a revelation. The story is a poignant and realistic portrayal of life in a foster care facility. It shows raw emotions and the realities of the situation. It’s about weighing in on one’s happiness or helping others achieve theirs.
8. Words on Bathroom Walls (2020)
English 1h 50m IMDb
Director: Thor Freudenthal
Stars: Charlie Plummer, Andy Garcia, Taylor Russell
This touching movie explores the story of an introspective and witty Adam played by Charlie Plummer. He’s a typical teenage boy who’s excited about being a chef someday. However, he was expelled during his junior year after an untoward incident during Chemistry class.
He was then diagnosed with schizophrenia. He had to transfer to a Catholic school, where he met Maya (Taylor Russell). Their romance deepened after a comforting and soulful connection. His family’s support and Maya’s acceptance and unconditional love propel him toward his dreams of becoming a chef.
This movie and Perks of Being a Wallflower share several similarities. It explores mental illness in teenagers. It also reveals how navigating high school can be highly challenging.
Dealing with bullies, preparing for a career, and trying to fit in make it hard for most young people. Additionally, it shows how unconditional love from family and friends can help one overcome mental struggles.
9. Keith (2008)
English 1h 35m IMDb
Director: Todd Kessler
Stars: Elisabeth Harnois, Jesse McCartney, Margo Harshman
Keith is an enigmatic and secretive teenage boy who meets a popular girl in school. Natalie is the typical queen bee- star athlete, social butterfly, straight-A student, and yearbook editor. Though it seems they’re worlds apart, they forge an unlikely friendship.
Keith did his best to hold back, but it made Natalie like him more. Despite adverse reactions from people surrounding Natalie, they’ve continued to build their relationship. However, certain events have changed their lives forever.
Like Perks of Being A Wallflower, Keith explores the life of a boy who just couldn’t fit in. It reveals people’s perception of you is not who you are.
It also tackles the hardships of dealing with young love, popularity, and family issues. This film teaches how to make the most of life and cherish every second. The brilliant acting and directing made it a film to remember.
10. It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010)
English 1h 41m IMDb
Director: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Stars: Keir Gilchrist, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts
This romance drama, set in New York, tells the story of Craig, a clinically depressed teen. Realizing he was suicidal, he checked himself into a hospital’s psychiatric department. Since the juvenile ward is under renovation, he was sent to the adult ward.
He became friends with Bobby, one of the patients there. Craig also becomes fond of Noelle, another teen patient. He nurtured deep friendships and a possible romantic relationship during his hospital-imposed five-day stay. He learned a lot about life, love, and what it takes to survive teenage life.
Like Perks of Being a Wallflower, this film tackles mental health issues in teens. It shows that there’s nothing wrong with seeking medical intervention, especially when one is suicidal.
Moreover, it conveys a message that there is hope for love and friendship despite medical problems. It’s a touching story made more special by the cast’s chemistry and acting.
Every day teenagers deal with many issues involving school, relationships, and past traumas. It’s good that there are films that explore these challenges and teach valuable lessons. The 10 best movies, Like Perks of Being a Wallflower, can help open up discussions about mental health, bullying, young love, and other issues.