Based on the novel of the same name by Kody Keplinger, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of the most notable movies when it comes to teens coming out of their shells. The film featured the shy student of Charlie, always keeping to himself and feeling like the outsider who doesn’t take part in the more social life of high school. His distancing changes, however, when meets the free-spirited duo of Sam and Patrick. Once he gets to know them, Charlie finds himself becoming more open and willing to allow for more relationships, including connections with his teacher. But a somber sensation takes him over when realizing that college will be near and he may just go back to becoming lonely again.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower became a bit of a sleeper hit for both its profound coming-of-age story and the compelling cast of Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Mae Whitman, Kate Walsh, Dylan McDermott, Joan Cusack, and Paul Rudd. It depicted a frank portrayal of how hard it can be dealing with PTSD at such an age but also the awkward sensation of falling in love and growing up. It’s a picture that may just make those feel a little more at ease in being more open as a teen or just feel like a comfort viewing of touching drama. For whichever reason it resonates most, there are plenty of other films that touch on similar grounds of both tragedy and heartfelt drama for those in high school. Here are ten films that can match that same pitch for The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Based on the novel by Jesse Andrews, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl follows the high school senior Greg Gaines who always seemed to be in his own world. He spends his free time producing parodies of movies with his friend Earl. His outlook on life changes, however, when he meets up with his childhood friend of Rachel Kushner. Realizing she is dying of leukemia, Greg commits himself more fully to his parodies with the aid of Earl as Rachel enters into chemotherapy. But how long can he hold onto hope? Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (The Town That Dreaded Sundown), the film stars Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, RJ Cyler, Nick Offerman, Molly Shannon, Jon Bernthal, and Connie Britton.
The Fault in Our Stars
Based on the novel by John Green, The Fault in Our Stars is one of the more iconic of teen romances amid tragedy. Hazel Grace Lancaster is a teenager suffering from cancer and forced by her parents into attending a support group. Though reluctant to attend, she finds himself falling for the patient of Augustus Waters, a boy who she discovers she has much in common with during their meetings. The pair of them become more attached and a romance forms but how long that love can last even they’re not sure about. Directed by Josh Boone (Stuck in Love), the worldwide hit of a teen drama stars Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Nat Wolff, and Willem Dafoe.
Pretty in Pink
As one of the classic pictures of the 1980s Brat Pack films, Pretty in Pink focuses on the life of high school senior Andie Walsh. Living in a Chicago suburb, her working class father can’t find work and she finds herself rather poor. She hangs out with her best friends that includes the outsider of Duckie, who secretly has a crush on Andie but has yet to confess. But with prom on the horizon and Andie setting her sights on other guys, Andie finds herself struggling with her feelings of finding romance and trying to upstage the rich and popular kids of her school. Directed by Howard Deutch (Some Kind of Wonderful) and written by John Hughes (The Breakfast Club), this coming-of-age drama stars the notable talents of Molly Ringwald, Harry Dean Stanton, Jon Cryer, Annie Potts, James Spader, and Andrew McCarthy.
Based on the novel of the same name by Kody Keplinger, the DUFF stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend and that’s exactly who Bianca thinks she is in high school. Far from the popular crowd, she appears as the geeky and quirky teenager who always seemed a bit too out there. But she still has romantic desires and is hoping to fulfill them before graduating. Unsure how to approach boys, however, Bianca presses the jock student Wesley into helping her out, showing her dos and don’ts of being a more popular kid in school. Though Bianca is hoping that these lessons will make her more confident to not only ask out boys but topple over the social order of the school, she may not count on falling in love with a jock. Directed by Ari Sandel (When We First Met) the film stars Mae Whitman, Robbie Amell, Bella Thorne, Bianca Santos, Skyler Samuels, Romany Malco, Ken Jeong, and Allison Janney.
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Based on the novel of the same title by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is a film about finding love after heartbreak. Nick has just recently gotten out of a relationship where he finds himself still pining for his ex-girlfriend. While at a club, however, he attracts the attention of his ex’s best friend Norah. They start to connect and find themselves hanging out together while they venture into a night that has them searching for Norah’s lost friend Caroline. But as dawn looms, the two have to come to a conclusion about where they want their relationship to proceed. Directed by Peter Sollett (Raising Victor Vargas), the film stars Michael Cera, Kat Dennings, Alexis Dziena, Ari Graynor, Aaron Yoo, and Jay Baruchel.
The Spectacular Now
Based on the book by Tim Tharp, The Spectacular Now portrays a love blossoming between the popular guy and the shy girl. Sutter is the popular man about school who finds himself jumping into wild parties. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Aimee, a girl who mostly keeps to herself, less concerned for living in the present and planning more for her future. After a night of partying, Sutter finds himself meeting Aimee and the two soon find themselves falling for each other with an unexpected romance. Directed by James Ponsoldt (The End of the Tour), this coming-of-age drama stars Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Bob Odenkirk, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Kyle Chandler.
The Edge of Seventeen
Nadine is finding life as a high school junior a tough experience to go through, especially when her older brother Darian is dating her best friend Krista. Life seems so lonely with nowhere to turn. But an encounter with a knowing teenager and a no-nonsense teacher may just change her outlook on life for the better, realizing there’s better things ahead in life for a girl with such quick wit and great insight. Written and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig (Post Grad), this coming-of-age drama stars Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson, Kyra Sedgwick, and Haley Lu Richardson.
Juno MacGuff is a snarky and quick-witted teenager who finds herself in a tough situation when she discovers that she’s pregnant. The father is her best friend Paulie Bleeker, a track runner who happened to have one night of sex that resulted in such a situation. With the two high school students not ready to be parents, Juno seeks someone to adopt the child and chooses a failed rock star to fit the bill. But as she comes to learn more about her child and the lives of adults, the more inclined Juno might be to raise the child. Directed by Jason Reitman (Up in the Air) and written by Diablo Cody (Jennifer’s Body), this teen pregnancy dramedy stars Elliot Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Allison Janney, and J. K. Simmons.
Kayla has turned 13 and finds herself at that awkward age where she’s not sure how to deal with her issues at home and school. Her suburban life is a lonely one, choosing to confide in video diaries her personal issues of struggling to connect with her dad and coming to terms with her crush on the hottest guy in school. Written and directed by Bo Burnham (Promising Young Woman), this touching coming-of-age story stars Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson, Jake Ryan, and Fred Hechinger.
A Silent Voice
Based on the manga of the same name by Yoshitoki Ōima, A Silent Voice tells the story of high school student Shoya Ishida and finding himself living an empty life. Though initially seeking to kill himself, he finds himself taking an interest in the deaf student Shoko Nishimiya who was the subject of bullying. With Shoya having been blamed for the bullying and taking part in mocking her, he feels he must make amends to feel better about himself. Directed by Naoko Yamada (Liz and the Blue Bird), the film has won numerous awards including the Japanese Movie Critics Award for Best Animation Feature Film and the Japanese Academy Award for Excellent Animation of the Year.