The ever-opinionated James Franco is offering his take on the largely overlooked indie film "The Perks of Being a Wallflower."
Based on the novel by Stephen Chbosky, the 90's-set film follows a teen named Charlie (Logan Lerman) who develops friendships with two free-thinking seniors, Sam (Emma Watson) and her gay stepbrother Patrick (Ezra Miller).
In a guest post for Entertainment Weekly, the actor/writer/director/scholar praised the dramedy.
"It’s hard to do a film about high school nowadays and not have it suck. …'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' somehow stands apart and feels relevant," Franco wrote. "I think more than anything it is the characters and the acting that pulls this movie through. It’s not as if the character types are anything we haven’t seen before, but here they are portrayed with such honesty and vitality that they rise above cliché and feel true."
"High school is a time and place that can be done so wrong," Franco added, "but these wallflowers do it so right. They embrace the outcasts, and they don’t shy away from the hard issues teens face: sex, drugs, suicide, mental illness; and they capture the beauty of youth: friendship, love, creativity."
The actor's musing is part of EW's new "Consider This" series, in which stars offer their opinions on who they feel deserves recognition based on their work in 2012.
Reese Witherspoon has also contributed to "Consider This," by releasing an open letter to Naomi Watts lauding her performance in the upcoming Indian Ocean tsunami drama "The Impossible."
"I could not speak for 24 hours after seeing the film. It was more than a movie," Witherspoon said. "It was a mediation on life and family and humanity. It was fortifying. But the life-breath of the film is you."
Celebrities congratulating one another during awards season seems to be a growing trend. Last month, Angelina Jolie hosted an industry screening of "The Impossible" in honor of Ewan McGregor.
While the praise may be genuine, it's also a way for a celeb to get in on another's positive buzz.
"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" has grossed a modest $17 million at the box office since it was released on Sept 21. Its unimpressive earnings are somewhat puzzling considering Watson's bankability as a "Harry Potter" star and the tremendous popularity of the book, which currently resides at the top of the New York Times young adult bestseller list. Furthermore, "Perks" has earned favorable reviews--the film has an 85 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes--and was named one of the Top 10 Films of 2012 by the National Board of Review.
Still, "Perks" may had suffered due to minimal marketing and the fact that it's the type of film that doesn't need to be viewed on the big screen. Additionally, the film's target audience typically turn out to see popcorn-friendly fare that offers an escape rather than an illustration of high school school angst and self-reflection.
The film will likely earn a more substantial following its Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD release on Feb 12.