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12/21/2014

A Review of the Deleted Scenes from The Perks of Being a Wallflower






 The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a beautiful film based on a beautiful book. I think it translated better to film than a lot of books do in part because the movie  was written and directed by the book's author Stephen Chbosky. Interestingly despite how incredibly fantastic how incredibly fantastic both the book and the film are and the fact that the author had full creative control quite a few relatively big things from the book are not actually in the movie at all. I recently discovered that Chbosky had scripted, filmed and fully edited many scenes that forever whatever reason did not make the final cut. They are all available as special features on the DVD. Naturally I had to see them. Yesterday I got myself a copy of the DVD and today I was finally able to sit down and watch all of the deleted scenes from the film. For the purpose of your enjoyment I will summarize and review what I have seen. If you have not both read the book and seen the final cut of the movie I urge you to do so before reading this this.



       The Scenes are titled as followed.

1 Alternate Opening (Hospital)
2 Susan in the Cafeteria
3 Charlie's Best Friend Michael
4 Best Milkshake Ever
5 After Secret Santa
6 Charlie and Mom on Christmas Eve
7 Brothers(Extended Version)
8 New Year's Day
9 Brother and Sister
10 Home for Dinner
11 Charlie and Mom Leave the Hospital
12 The Poem





1 Alternate Opening (Hospital)


This scene creates such a different vibe than the film's actual opening. It's slow paced and sad and it creates none of the hopeful feelings that final version does. It does however immediately throw the audience into the story and it features some flashbacks which obviously have more meaning in connection with the rest of the movie. I really like one of the flashbacks which features Charlie and his sister in church talking about the transubstantiation of the wine. Whether or not you hold religious beliefs small children and what Catholics hold to be the blood of Christ are symbolic of purity and innocence. Here we have someone who has had innocence stolen from them looking back at that moment and trying to come to terms with what happened to them.

2 Susan in the Cafeteria

This scene is sad and very well acted on the parts of both Logan Lerman (Charlie) and Julie Garner (Susan). Your heart breaks for Charlie but at the same time you can see the pain in Susan's eyes.

3 Charlie's Best Friend Michael

Michael is a huge part of what ultimately leads to Charlie's breakdown. They are outsiders who each battle with intense emotional pain. They rely on each other for support and when Michael kills himself Charlie is left with feelings of loneliness and guilt. This scene especially illustrates how dependent Michael was on Charlie. It's clear that Charlie thinks he could have been the one to help Michael. This scene is a conversation between two friends and it work very well. It and Susan in the Cafeteria really help to build the audience's understanding of where Charlie is emotionally at the beginning of the movie.

4  Best Milkshake Ever

  This scene is short and features Charlie's immediate reaction to tasting the milkshake Sam prepared for him. He says "Holy shit Sam." It's funny but considering all the funny bits immediately before and after where this scene would have been I think it may have been a wise cut.

5 After Secret Santa

  This is a momentary exchange of words Charlie and his mother. As the title implies it takes place immediately after the Christmas party. It's short sweet and to the point. While it may have been nice to see in the movie itself its absence in no way affected the movie's overall quality.

6 Charlie and Mom on Christmas Eve

Charlie's emotional deterioration is very present in both the film and the book but the complexity of his feelings is really highlighted by this scene. The scene is only about a minute long and focuses on a conversation between Charlie and his mother. Charlie talks about his aunt Helen and asks if people can always turn their lives around. The whole time it's clear their is a lot he wants to say but can't.

7  Brothers(Extended Version)
The majority of this scene is present in the final cut. Still the extended version does have merit of its own. In this scene Charlie and his brother talk to each other while sitting at the table. In the extended version we learn that Charlie's father was once a promising athlete before an injury forced him to give it up. This scene's presence would have directly informed the audience's perception of the last seen in the movie.

8 New Year's Day

 In this scene two police officers find Charlie passed out in the snow after his acid trip. It immediately cuts to the hospital where doctors and a police officer are discussing possible reasons he may have been unconscious with his parents. When the officer suggests he may have been using drugs the entire group looks over towards his hospital room and his sister tells him "You are so screwed." While it might work to increase the tension of the following scene it doesn't add anything of significance to the experience of the movie.

9 Brother and Sister

Aside from the rape memories this is one of the darkest aspects of the whole book. Despite this I've always found it really odd this didn't make the final cut. This is when Charlie discovers his sister is pregnant and takes her for an abortion. This scene does so much to build their relationship and inform the audience's understanding of their loyalty to one and love for one another. Ultimately its presence might have caused other parts of the movie to feel more serious than they needed to. I'm very glad this was filmed.

10 Home for Dinner

This is the part that would immediately follow Brother and Sister. Charlie and Candace return home and tell their parents that they went to see a movie together. It's sad but also sweet because they appear to have grown closer. Obviously it would make no sense without the scene prior to it. If you are curious to see how the development of Candace and Charlie relationship would have been handled on screen you should really watch these parts for yourself. You are unlikely to regret it.

11 Charlie and Mom Leave the Hospital

   This part begins with Charlie being released from the hospital. His mother buys him ice cream and they're sitting somewhere in a parked while he eats it. He offers some to her and she asks him if he remembers when he was little and she used to buy him ice cream. It's clear she feels guilty for not protecting him. This scene is about a mother who wants to protect her child from the pain of the world but knows its already too late. So she buys him ice cream and tries to show she loves him.  Ice cream can't solve all the worlds problems but sometimes it really can help.


12 The Poem

I'm really not sure why this was removed. If you've read the book you most likely remember it. It's a lot of people's favorite part of the book. It's good that it was filmed. If no version of this scene existed in relation to the movie at all that would be insane. This scene in particular is a real reward for fans who get the DVD.

"once on a yellow piece of paper,
he wrote a poem and he called it "chops" because that was the name of his dog. and that's what it was about and his teacher gave him an A and a gold star and his mother hung it on he door and read it to his aunts that was the year father Tracy took all the kids to the zoo and let them sing on the bus that was the year his little sister was born with tiny toenails and no hair and his mother and father kissed a lot " and the girl around the corner sent him a valentine signed with a row of x's and he had to ask his father what the x's meant and his father always tucked him in at night and was always there to do it once on a piece of white paper with blue lines he wrote a poem called "autumn" because that was the name of the season snd that's what it was all about and his teacher gave him an A and asked him to write more clearly and his mother never hung it on the kitchen door because of its new paint and the kids told him that father tracy smoked cigars and left butts on the pews and sometimes they would burn holes that was the year his sister got glasses with thick lenses and black frames and the girl around the corner laughed when he asked her to go see santa claus and the kids told him why his mother and father kissed a lot and his father never tucked him in at night and got mad when he cried for him to do it once on a piece of paper torn from his notebook he wrote a poem called "innocence; a question" because that was the question about his girl and that's what is was all about and his professor gave him an A and a strange steady look and his mother never hung it on the kitchen door becaue he never showed her that was the year that father tracy died and he forgot how the end of apostle's creed went and he caught his sister making out on the back porch and his mother and father never kissed or even talked and the girl around the corner wore too much makeup that made him cough when he kissed her but he kissed her anyway because that was the thing to do and at three A.M he tucked himself into bed his father snoring soundly that's why on the back of a brown paper bag he tried another poem and he called it "absolutely nothing" because that's what it was really about and he gave himself an A and a slash on each damned wrist and he hung it on that bathroom door because he didn't think he could reach the kitchen"





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