Perks of Being a Wallflower - Sam and Charlie
The movie adaptation of Stephen Chorbosky’s Perks of Being a Wallflower alters the relationship between Sam and Charlie in certain ways that turned their relationship into something else, something more romantic.
This alterations allow Charlie to be on more on equal grounds with Sam instead of Sam always seeming like the older more mature one. This alteration transforms their relationship so by the end it can be assumed that they are in a romantic relationship unlike in the books.
One major level of equality was how Sam would confide in Charlie about her troubles and fears in the film. In the novel, Charlie would usually be the one telling others about what was going on with him or just listening. Sam would not fully confide in Charlie because she was more of a mentor to him then a confider.
She only truly confided in him with the secret about her when she was molested while in the film she also told him about her fears about getting into college. She told him she got a bad SAT score, which prompted another major alteration. Charlie tutored Sam for her SATs and helped her improve her scores, which never happened in the novel.
This alteration allows for Charlie to be the one helping Sam out and giving them more of a give and take relationship. This change helps Charlie to become Sam’s peer rather than always the freshman she mentors. Since in the book, Sam always seems to be trying to teach Charlie life lessons like how to go on dates with girls or helping him out by giving him his first real kiss. These things happen in the movie, but with the added effect of Charlie helping her, their relationship does not seem so much like a teacher and student.
Sam and Charlie end up presumably having sex before she leaves for college because of this equality and him not having such an alarming memory of being abused by Aunt Helen. Charlie has a faint hint of remembering which he then tucks away in the movie so that they can consummate their relationship instead of it just being platonic like in the novel.
The novel ended their relationship with friendship because there relationship would have obviously not been healthy for either of the character that had been through the same childhood trauma and both needed to grow away from each other.
The movie ended with a happy sense that Sam and Charlie are now in a more romantic relationship that Charlie and the reader were hoping for through the kiss before Sam leaves for college and her sadness over leaving Charlie. This is further proven when they have a final kiss in the tunnel.
The kiss in the tunnel allows the viewer to assume they are still together and in a long distance relationship.
These major changes drastically altered the relationship between Sam and Charlie. The changes shifted the relationship to a one-sided romantic love to a connected romantic love through the alterations in the plot.