It's generally thrilling and terrifying for authors of beloved novels to see their babies made into movies. Thrilling because, hey, extra validation and free money, and terrifying because Hollywood is, of course, really great at making bad movies out of good books. Author Stephen Chbosky's solution? He directed the film version of his novel himself (from his own adapted screenplay), thank you very much. Of course, that could have backfired, but miracle of miracles, it didn't. His "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" -- which I'm giving away in DVD form in this week's random reader drawing -- was one of my favorite movies of 2012. Critic Amy Biancolli's review in the San Francisco Chronicle nailed it: "It depicts the loneliness, anxiety and all-out quivering mess of adolescence in a manner not often seen since John Hughes' heyday." (It's not a total downer, though; it's touching and funny, too.)
So far, by the way, the just-released-on-DVD film has earned 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon (averaged across 84 customer reviews), which matches up nicely with the 4.5 stars won by Chbosky's original novel, also titled "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" (averaged across 3,675 customer reviews, which should give you a sense of just how popular his book has become since it was first published in 1999).
THE FINE PRINT: To enter the random drawing in this informal Media Guy Media Giveaway, send me an email with "The Perks of Being a Wallflower giveaway" in the subject line. Entering more than once will not increase your odds. You have until March 1, 2013 to enter (the cut-off is the end of the day at 12 midnight ET). You must be 18 or older and have a valid U.S. mailing address.
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.