When you're in high school it feels like the whole world is against you. In writer/director Stephen Chbosky's high school-set The Perks of Being a Wallflower the whole world may actually be against Charlie (Logan Lerman) whose freshman year of high school should be listed in the dictionary under "Murphy's Law." Plagued by memories of two significant deaths as well as general social anxiety Charlie takes a passive approach to ninth grade. A few days of general bullying later he falls into a friendship with two misfit seniors Patrick (Ezra Miller) and Sam (Emma Watson) who teach him how to live life without fear. Perks starts off with a disadvantage: introverts aren't terribly engaging but Chbosky surrounds Charlie with a vivid cast of characters who help him blossom and inject the coming-of-age tale with a necessary energy.
Set in a timeless version of the '90s Charlie's world is full of handwritten journals mixtapes and a just-tolerable amount of tweed. He writes letters to a nameless recipient as a way of venting a preventative measure to keep the teen from repeating a vague incident that previously left him hospitalized. The drab background of Pittsburgh fits perfectly with Charlie's blank existence. And when he finally comes to life as part of Patrick and Sam's off-beat clique so does the city. Like the archaic vinyl records Sam lusters over (The Smiths of course!) Chbosky visualizes Charlie's journey through the underbelly of suburban Pennsylvania with a raw emotion blooming lights and film grit at every turn. Michael Brook's score and an adeptly curated soundtrack accompanies the episodic affair which centers on Charlie's search for a song he hears during the most important moment of his life.
The charm that keeps The Perks of Being a Wallflower from collapsing under its own super seriousness come from Chbosky's perfectly cast ensemble. Lerman has a thankless job playing Charlie; often constrained to a half-smile and shy shrug Lerman is never allowed to grapple with Charlie's greatest fears and problems until (too) late in the film. Watson nails the spunky object-of-everyone's-affection but she's outshined by Mae Whitman as Mary Elizabeth another rebellious friend in the pack who takes a liking to Charlie. The real star turn is Miller riding high from We Need to Talk About Kevin and taking a complete 180 with Patrick a rambunctious wiseass who struggles to have an openly gay relationship with the football captain but covers his pain with humor. A scene of confrontation — at where else the cafeteria — is one of the best scenes of the year.
Chbosky adapted Perks of Being a Wallflower from his own book and the movie feels stifled by a looming structure. But it nails the emotional beats — there is no obvious path to surviving high school. It's messy shocking and occasionally beautiful. That about sums up Perks.
"Rob from the rich to give to the poor" has been Robin Hood's philosophy since the 15th century. But leave it to Kevin Costner, the star of our time's seminal Robin Hood retelling, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, to rewrite history. As Costner sees it, Robin Hood has been robbing the rich to give to the rich.
On Tuesday, Costner filed a lawsuit with the Los Angeles Superior Court against the Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves production company Morgan Creek Productions. Costner is filing complaints for breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraud, and unjust enrichment. In layman's terms, Costner believes Morgan Creek has been withholding the movie's profits from him and he's seeking retribution.
The lawsuit, prepared by Costner's attorneys Martin Singer and Michael Holtz of Lavely & Singer, begins with a strongly-worded cautionary tale. "Every actor hopes to star in a great movie that makes substantial profits," it begins. "But if you're hoping to earn profits on the success of your film and want to be paid on a timely basis, then one company you certainly do not want to do business with is Defendant Morgan Creek Productions, Inc."
The suit continues, "Mr Costner did as he promised – he starred in and promoted the Picture, helping it to become a huge success that earned Morgan Creek substantial profits. But when it came time for Morgan Creek to do as they promised and share those profits, they delayed, obfuscated, concealed and reneged." Sounds like Costner and his attorneys mean business.
The most burning question regarding Costner's suit, however, is not whether he will get his money back or even if he is owed profits at all. Instead, we're all wondering why he wants to remind people that Prince of Thieves exists. For your viewing pleasure, below is a scene from the film, and also, here's the video for that Bryan Adams song.
Follow Abbey Stone on Twitter @abbeystone
[Photo Credit: David Edwards/DailyCeleb.com]
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Kevin Costner Lawsuit