Just in time for fall, we are reminded, thanks to Hollywood, of everything we loved and hated about high school. Twenty-seven years after The Breakfast Club, the coming-of-age story of ﬁve students locked together in high school detention, The Perks of Being a Wallﬂower introduces us to Charlie, a freshman boy in dire need of friends. Both films use humor to examine the pain of being a high school misfit, an immutable movie (and real-life) trope since before James Dean played chicken in Rebel Without a Cause.
Charlie’s group, like the various Breakfast Club miscreants before them, break through seemingly impossible barriers to get to know each other and themselves, without even having to worry so much about being dateless for prom or being given a “swirly” — having their heads shoved into a flushing toilet — by the school bully. What is this madness! […]