British Board of Film Classification

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Type of media Film

Approved Running time 102m 32s

Release date 03/10/2012

BBFCInsight Contains moderate sex references, drug use and one use of strong language

Genre(s) Drama

Director(s) Stephen Chbosky

Cast includes Emma Watson, Nina Dobrev, Paul Rudd, Logan Lerman, Mae Whitman

Cut This work was passed uncut.

BBFCinsight publication date 23/09/2012

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER is a US drama set in an American high school in the early 1980s. An introverted freshman has difficulties settling in at his new school and making friends. However, two seniors take him under their wing and things begin to look up. It is an adaptation of the 1999 novel by Stephen Chbosky and features Emma Watson in one of the lead roles. It was classified 12A for moderate sex references, drug use and one use of strong language.

There are two scenes in which illegal drugs are used. In the first scene, the central character is encouraged to eat a piece of cake which turns out to contain hash. When the drugs take effect, he begins to speak embarrassing nonsense, to the amusement of his friends. In the second scene, the same character places a tab of acid on his tongue. This causes a brief but disorientating and unpleasant 'trip' in which he experiences flashbacks to traumatic events, including the death of a person who was close to him. He subsequently passes out and wakes up in a hospital, being questioned by police. In both cases, the use of drugs is seen to have negative consequences and drug use is not glamorised or encouraged. Drug use is not a major feature of the film and is simply depicted as one of a range of activities the central character experiences as he grows up. Because the drug use involves the eating of a piece of cake and the placing of a tab on a tongue, there is no particularly imitable detail. Nor is there any sight of any drugs being prepared.

The film also includes some moderate sex references, including undetailed, comic and throwaway references to oral sex. In one scene, a character recounts a story about a couple who had to resort to using 'sandwich bags' in the absence of condoms. Another scene involves a teenage couple kissing and fumbling but there is no sight of nudity or actual sex. Elsewhere in the film, Emma Watson's character is briefly seen in lingerie as she and other students perform a song and dance number in front of a cinema screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

There is a single use of such strong language when a character exclaims, "That's f***** up". There are also uses of moderate and mild bad language, including the terms 'asshole', 'bitch', 'bullshit', 'dick', 'prick', 'pussy', 'shag', 'shit' and 'son of a bitch'. There is occasional use of discriminatory terms, such as 'gooks', 'fags' and 'spaz', but the film does not endorse the use of discriminatory language or behaviour.

THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER also includes a suggestion that one of the principal characters was sexually abused by an aunt when he was very young. However, any verbal references to this are discreet and oblique and the visual portrayal of the abuse is limited to a couple of flashback images of a hand on a leg.

There is a fight scene that takes place in the school canteen. This includes some heavy punches, the majority of which are only shown at the end of the film during a flashback sequence. However, the violence lacks any clear detail of injury.

No-one younger than 12 may see a 12A film in a cinema unless accompanied by an adult. No-one younger than 12 may rent or buy a 12 rated video or DVD.


E1 Films
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102m 32s
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