All parent member reviews for The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Common Sense Media says

Book-based drama for mature teens tackles tough subjects.

Parents say

(out of 20 reviews)
age 14+
Review this title!
Parent of a 10 and 12 year old Written byStuFrogDogg October 9, 2012

Right on Time for my 7th grader!

I have not read the book, but just took my mature 12 (13 next month) year old to see this tonight hoping to generate some conversation about what to expect in the next few years ...And, of course, how to manage those situations. I'm happy to say that it worked like a charm! The movie introduced teen interpersonal relationships (both hetero and homosexual), the power of friendship, the effect of drugs (for the average teen, we're not talking Go Ask Alice here) and alcohol on your judgement. It also showed how lonely all teeneagers are when they're alone with their thoughts. We've already had a great conversation on the drive home from the theater, and I'm hoping to have a couple more of the coming days. Lots of these topics are RIGHT ON TIME for my 7th grade kid. So glad I took him to see it!
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byFlynn Rider September 3, 2013

Please read my review; NOT a family movie- this is a vulgar one; beware young children

When I was about to watch this movie, I expected an inspirational, upbeat, touching, somewhat racy picture of high school as seen in the trailer. I thought this would be a good movie for my family to enjoy. Instead, I was greeted with vulgar sexuality, salty language, underage drinking and drugs, violence, and more. I won't get into the basics- CommonSense covers that- but you must understand that this is a horrible, negative, inaccurate portrayal of high school, and overall, a definitely horrible film. This is not a family movie. DO NOT WATCH THIS if you have kids under the age of 17. I'm not exaggerating about this poisonous garbage.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Parent Written byJustin Collier May 19, 2014
Many adults who behave like 5 year old puritans watch this movie and think "ew, gross, gay people, three whole marijuanas!" but this movie contains nothing worse than what the average 9 year old with access to the internet, or books, or TV. has seen.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byMindfulParent247 June 7, 2013

Inappropriate

My 14 yr old son was shown this by his older sister. I consider this film complete trash. The drugs, premartial sex, homosexuality and other content I deem inappropriate for under 16. The negative aspects of this movie outweigh any positive.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 12 year old Written byBrock715 October 21, 2012

Trailer Misleads -- This is a Troubling, Sordid Tale

If you want to take your child to see a movie about child molestation, pot brownies, acid trips, suicide, mental illness, disconnected parents and gay stereotypes, then this would be a good film for you. Yeah, the relationship between the 3 main characters is a decent example of friendship, but overall this movie is full of forced, gratuitous and, ultimately valueless, drama. Was hoping for stuff to talk about with my middle school daughter, instead I just wanted to hit 'delete' on 2 hours of wasted time. A big letdown...
Parent of a 14 year old Written bycolten97 February 18, 2013

High school can be very challenging. It is important to have good friends.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a heartfelt and sincere adaptation that's bolstered by strong lead performances. About 2 F-words, 4 sexual references, 6 scatological terms, 2 anatomical terms, 6 mild obscenities, 4 derogatory terms for homosexuals, 1 derogatory racial remark, name-calling, exclamations, 5 religious profanities, 6 religious exclamations. A teen boy and a teen girl are see taking LSD and the teen boy is seen extremely intoxicated, a teen boy eats what is implied to be a brownie with marijuana in it and he acts intoxicated, a teen girl clarifies with a young man that he had given a teen boy a drugged brownie and then asks the teen boy if he had been "stoned" before, and a young man acts intoxicated throughout the movie. Throughout the movie we see teen boys and girls drinking alcohol at parties, a teen girl and a teen boy share a bottle of wine, a teen boy drinks from a thermos to the point of drunkenness as he drives a truck with another teen boy as a passenger, and a teen girl tells a teen boy that her father collects wine but does not drink. We see a teen girl holding a cigarette. During a teen boy's voiceover it is implied that he had been molested by his aunt: we see a flashback of a woman's hand touching a boy's upper thigh as she tells him not to wake up his sister. A teen boy and a teen girl share a lingering kiss as the teen girl grabs the teen boy's upper thigh and they recline on a bed; sex is implied when we see the teen boy leaving the house the following morning. A teen boy and a teen girl kiss and the girl puts the boy's hands on her breasts; they lie down on a sofa and continue to kiss passionately until they are interrupted by her parents coming home. We see a montage of a teen boy and a teen girl kissing and the teen boy is shown grabbing the girl's breasts as we hear the teen boy's voiceover explaining that he is "tired of grabbing" the teen girl's breasts. A teen boy sees a teen girl and a young man kissing passionately. A teen girl kisses a teen boy and then pulls away and hugs him. A teen boy kisses another teen boy and then pulls away and apologizes. We see a teen girl kiss a young man. A teen girl kisses a teen boy through the open window of a truck. A teen boy watches his teenage sister kiss a teen boy. A teen girl kisses a teen boy on the cheek. A teen girl wraps her arms around a teen boy, hugging him. A teen boy walks into a room and sees two other teen boys kissing. A teen boy dares another teen boy to kiss "the prettiest girl in the room"; he kisses a teen girl and another teen girl begins to cry and rushes out of the room. A teen boy makes teasing kissing faces at a teen girl. On multiple occasions we see teen boys and teen girls pantomiming along to a movie with both the boys and the girls wearing corsets and underwear; a teen boy wearing a corset dances suggestively in front of another teen boy sitting in the audience and during one reenactment we see the movie screen with a man on top of a woman, kissing passionately as a teen girl and a teen boy re-enact the scene in the background with the girl running her hands down the body of the teen boy. A teen boy asks another teen boy to not tell anyone that he had seen the boy and another teen boy kissing, explaining that his partner does not want people to know he is gay. A teen boy narrative explains that he had been told by a teen girl that another teen boy was engaging in a sexual relationship with another teen boy and that the teen boy would have to "get drunk" in order to have sex and then would lie about it the following morning. A teen boy's voiceover explains that he had learned that a teen girl was sexually promiscuous when she was younger, often going to parties and having sex with older high school students. A teen boy tells another teen boy a story of a teen girl and a teen boy who had been forced to use a sandwich bag as a condom when having sex at a park. A teen boy jokingly tells two teen girls to perform oral sex on a boy to welcome him to a party. We hear a teen girl describe nearly being caught with a teen boy by her parents to a group of other teens. A teen boy tells another teen boy about a girl who had developed breasts when she was younger and would let people touch them. A teen girl asks a teen boy if he had ever kissed a girl; he says no, then asks a teen girl if "she has" and she laughs and says that she had never kissed a girl. A teen girl tells a teen boy that she wants the teen boy's first kiss to be from someone special. A teen girl tells a teen boy that her first kiss was at age 11, from an older man. A teen girl tells a teen boy that a young man is unsuccessfully trying to have a relationship with a waitress and the teen girl then makes a crude joke. A teen boy teases two other teen boys, pushing them together and saying, "Get a room." A teen boy's voiceover explains that he is writing the letter because the reader had chosen not to "sleep with" a person even though they were able and willing. A teen boy's voiceover explains that a teen girl had found out that her older boyfriend had revealed that he was cheating on her previously. A teen girl makes a crude remark to two other teen girls and calls them virgins.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 17 year old Written byb mell February 13, 2013

good for 12 and up

I think this is for kids 12 and up because it is important for our youth th learn how high school especially private school kids so they can be aware of the real world.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent of a 12 and 15 year old Written byPA CA Mom January 30, 2013

The Perks of Alcohol and Drugs

The main characters are positive role models in that there is comfort with homosexuality, valuing of literature and intelligence, and overcoming adversity. A main positive message is the importance of professional therapy. Amidst the sexual promiscuity, domestic abuse, and violence, the main concern for me with this movie is that drugs and alcohol play a prominent role in lubricating friendships, without any significant repercussions. Parents may say that this movie provides a good forum for discussion with their teens about the dangers of drugs, but much of that message could pale in comparison to the images and story line which actually make drugs compelling. While this movie may be appropriate for some mid-teens who are solidly grounded, it is not for young teens who are vulnerable.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 16 year old Written byjenn1996 November 26, 2012

Talk to your child before, but GREAT MOVIE OVERALL.

As a 17 year old girl, I LOVED this movie! There were many mature themes, but they're all associated with high school-- Drinking, drugs, and sex are topics amongst the entire movie. (Sex is only talked about, nothing graphic). Language is a bit edgy but it's not annoyingly frequent, it usually goes along with a joke and it makes you laugh. The only thing I disagreed with is how the movie sent the message as "The way to make friends and have fun is to go to wild parties, drink, and do drugs" which I STRONGLY go against. Other than that, it was a great movie! If you're a parent, I would just talk to your child before and make sure that your child knows that drinking, drugs, and sex is not an essential part of a normal high schooler's life, and that they can have fun without it. I have to admit, the movie made those illegal activities tempting to try. 5/5 stars!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byKarine18 February 23, 2013

Hey!

Awesome movie! I liked it much § Really appropriate for 14-15 teenagers
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educator and Parent of a 13 and 15 year old Written byMom and movie lover February 15, 2013

Good friendship movie, TOUGH topics may be too much, on the whole: sad

Tough movie. Watched this with my 13 year old daughter and some of the subject matter was too much for her. I believe any movie should stand on its own and not be compared to the original book (which I have not read). This is a good movie about friendship -- extraordinary young actors! Being a friend means accepting the whole person; that was the good message in the show. Some of the best laughs and warmest feelings come from this group of 'wallflowers' or misfits fitting in with each other. But, some of the other topics made this too much for my early teen to take. Me, too. Couldn't anyone in the show not have tragedy in their lives current or past? So glad the friends were there for the main character at the end, the uplift was good. But overall, too sad. I would only recommend this for very mature early teens or mid-teens. Be prepared for very troubled, deep, and dark themes, but the friendship made and saved this movie. It's not a happy movie. SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS Some of the other subjects were hard to take, too many in fact. My daughter missed some of the references to Sam's promiscuous past, an adult in her past who acted inappropriately to her, the deleted scenes about the sister's preganacy situation missed out on seeing Charlie as someone who was there for his loved ones but still more sad, a friend with possible bulimia, a teen who can't face being gay and his father who beats the son for being gay, lots of drinking and some drug use, the aunt molesting the main character was not revealed until toward the end of the movie was just too much to take by then as you are weighted down by all the sadness surrounding and happening to Charlie. If you are questioning whether to have your child watch this movie, you should know about all the tough topics.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 9 and 14 year old Written byLisaB 9 August 6, 2015

An unrealistic (I hope) and far too mature view of high school

I watched this movie with my 13-year old last night, and I'm glad she's already had good sex/drug education at school and that we could talk about it afterwards. I'm concerned that, although the average age parents have selected for this movie is 13, there will be many parents, like me, who would prefer not to have their child see this movie at that age. FWIW, my daughter had read the book earlier in the day and liked it better than the movie. The movie, set in the early 90s I believe, depicts a high school freshman who inexplicably is taken up by a group of "misfit" seniors. I'm perhaps showing my age, but when I went to high school in the late 70s, the misfit kids didn't necessarily have parties at houses with no parents present, lots of alcohol, pot, and LSD, and lots of sex. I would have found the story more believable if it was set during the kids' college years. Visual images of concern were some graphic depictions of characters in full costume at the Rocky Horror Picture Show...no one was nude in these scenes, but some were close, and there was a lot of the lascivious touching that was a big part of the movie. I was at least relieved that there was no depiction of the glorified incest from Rocky Horror, especially since the main character in the movie is eventually revealed to be the victim of childhood molestation by his aunt. Mind you, I'm not against Rocky Horror, but not for young teens. Another concern visually for me was the general attractiveness of this group of misfit teenagers who all appeared to be rich, have great teeth and skin, and who showed none of the effects one might expect of heavy alcohol use or frequent drug use. Verbal concerns were Emma Watson's (skinny) character saying she is "bulimist" (not a bulimic but she loves bulimia) and a great deal of swearing which some parents may object to. On the plus side, there is a sympathetic and compelling young gay man in the movie, and his friends stick up for him when he is bullied; however, his boyfriend is understood to be closeted and to need alcohol in order to loosen up enough for sex. The major message of the movie, that we get the love we think we deserve is one worth exploring with your teenager (in the movie this is applied to two females who are in relationships with physically violent men, a female character whose boyfriends always seem to end up as cheaters or creeps, the gay fellow whose boyfriend bullies him in the end). The main character does encourage his friends and sister to believe they deserve better. Another plus is that the movie does treat the boy's depression/anxiety/treatment by psychiatric professionals sympathetically. There is also a warm and caring (and appropriate) relationship between the boy and his English teacher.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byMichelleRL October 18, 2012

Great realistic High School Angst movie for teens and parents.

A psychologist friend brought her family (ages 12, 10, and 8) to this movie, raved about it, and said all her friends should bring their kids to see this movie. On a whim, a girlfriend and I went to see it last night, and i am SO GLAD I didn't bring my boys 11 and 10. it's a GREAT movie, and should be seen by teens - but I don't think it is appropriate for junior high schoolers and younger. GREAT movie vehicle to open communication with your kids about bullying, homosexuality, sex, bulimia, molestation, and much more.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byShaeSargent April 2, 2016

Wow_Without Words

This movie was by far the best film I have seen since "The Beautiful Mind", and poem I have read by Shane Koyczan "Until This Day". This film is so beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 14 and 17 year old Written byGeorgia Wilson March 28, 2015
Parent Written byImjustsaying September 2, 2013

Good movie with very adult themes and content. Older teens only (17 and up)

I watched with with my husband to see if it would be a good movie for our son who turned 15. It has vert adult content as far as drugs, sex, suicide, mental illness, molestation. The young teen who is alone and starting high school makes friends with a group on seniors. They seem like a nice group but they do take drugs, have sex and there is fighting and some of the teens coming to accept they are gay. I would have my son watch if they didn't have the sex, suicide stuff, I can take gay and drugs but the other stuff was too heavy. I think it was a very good movie. I would rate this movie as being a mini-R rated or lite R rated movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bywonder dove July 27, 2013

Nothing new....

I agree with another reviewer on here about this film being a huge let down and the trailer is very misleading. Not sure why this film received so much hype, maybe for Emma Watson, maybe the unique title, but the actual story is no different than the typical teen high school movies where two students fall for each other while coupled with drinking & drugs. It's similar to the film Adventure Land with a similar setting and feel, only Adventure Land is better! I didn't care for this one. The characters were neither likable or unlikable, acting was average, it sets a bad example for young teens. I would not watch this one again. Violence has a boyfriend hitting his girlfriend, bullying of gay students, some bickering between characters. Sexual content includes gay relationships and kissing, couples kissing, some sex talk, and sexual innuendo. Language has one "f" word along with tons of other curse words from multiple uses of sh*t, hell, sl*t and more! This film is nothing special. Okay for 15+.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent of an infant, 2, 6, and 10 year old Written byAG Fan Parent June 29, 2013

Amazing, intense but something every kid should see.

This movie has everything kids have to deal with in high school, and in some extent, middle school. Yeah, it has swearing, and sex references (even almost actual sex), and drinking and drugs, but it's not bad. That's all I can say. Any kid allowed to watch PG-13 movies that has attended school (yup, even 11-year-old middle schoolers) will not see anything new. However, the deep content and references to suicide, child abuse, and sexual abuse may be more intense. Consider watching it before your kid, but really, kids SHOULD see this. It is so amazing, and will honestly provide a new outlook on life, one you'll probably want your kid to have, especially before starting high school.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educator and Parent of a 17 year old Written byCharlierehbeingarrit June 5, 2016

Amazing!!!

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Adult Written byJess J. March 26, 2017

This IS what high school is like

As a 19 year, I can honestly say this is an honest portrayal of high school. If you don't want your children doing drugs, having sex, or drinking then TALK TO THEM ABOUT IT. Its important for teenagers to know what is really out there and not be sheltered. Help your children decide their values, but I don't think this is a movie that shouldn't be watched. It teaches an important message about friends, and shows reality in a true form. The main character is relatable. Over all a GREAT movie.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking