WARNING: STOP READING IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK OR SEEN THE FILM AND ARE PLANNING ON IT. THERE MAY BE SPOILERS (I don’t actually know that there really are spoilers, but I have to put this here anyway).
For once, I liked the film as much as the novel…maybe because the author of the book was also the director, executive producer, and writer of the film. TPFBAW is a must for all those people who never felt like they belonged somewhere. The characters on-screen were just as believable as the ones in the book. Both had me in tears because it was that moving.
The movie was a little more intense than the book during some parts. For instance, the fight scene between Brad and Patrick…that was a very hard scene to watch because of the content. It made me really emotional. Another scene in the film that was pretty intense was when Charlie goes back to his house after saying goodbye to Sam and he starts replaying all of the bad things that have happened in his mind and you can see him beginning to really lose control over himself. The first time Charlie replays Aunt Helen’s death was also an emotional scene for me. The flashbacks between him as a child and hearing Aunt Helen’s last words made the scene that much more effective and emotional.
Another slight difference between the two is that I felt like in the film, Charlie’s family was more “normal.” In the book, his sister, Candace seems like she doesn’t care that much about Charlie. There are a couple of parts where it seems like the two really connect, but overall, I got the impression that she didn’t want anything to do with him and didn’t want him in her business all the time. In the movie, she wasn’t as mean as I remember and she was actually very kind and loving toward Charlie.
One of the things I was disappointed about the film was that it didn’t include the part where Charlie goes over to Bill’s house at the end of the school year. Bill tells Charlie why he gave him all those additional assignments and said that he believes that Charlie is special and that the reason he told him that was because he didn’t think anyone else did. When I read that part of the book, I got really emotional because I really connected with Charlie and I admired that he had this teacher or adult that truly believed in his potential.
Overall, I really have nothing bad to say about the film vs. the novel. Both have forever impacted me and I strongly recommend people read the book AND see the film. It’s absolutely beautiful in its own way. Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, and Ezra Miller did a phenomenal job playing the main characters. The whole cast could NOT have been any better. It’s because of TPOBAW that I realize I need to find my Charlie, Sam, and Patrick in life. This one’s for the wallflowers.