The Perks of Being a Wallflower is that rare teen flick that receives great reviews. Based on Stephen Chbosky's novel—he also wrote and directed the film—the story takes place in Pittsburgh in the early '90s. Freshman loner Charlie (Logan Lerman) is befriended by two seniors: Patrick (Ezra Miller), a closeted young man, and his super cool stepsister Sam (Emma Watson). The best parts of this really good film involve seeing Watson shed her Hogwarts roots. Here are the ten things we think prove Emma Watson's more magical when she's simply being real.
1. Her Awesome Pixie Cut: Natalie Portman did it. Michelle Williams did it. Ginnifer Goodwin did it. Even Anne Hathaway got in on the short hair action. And now Watson has ditched those Hermoine curls for a seriously cropped do that got the everyone buzzing.
2. Her Dancing Is Better Than Her Spell Casting: Girl owns it. As wallflower Charlie eyes Sam at a high school dance, Dexys Midnight Runners' "Come On, Eileen" comes on. She hits the dance floor (sans wand or spell book!) and she is fierce.
3. She Has Real Issues: Sex, bullying and general angst mean being a teenager is tough. This kind of role grounds the actress more so than scoring unlimited points for Gryffindor. Thankfully, the movie offers a ton of fun, as well, like the midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Where even the oddest of Muggles can fit in. Speaking of Rocky Horror...
4. Let's Do the Time Warp With Emma: As the trio vamps it up for their version of Rocky Horror, a way less uninhibited Watson takes the stage. She's a lot of makeup and very skimpy outfit. Avert your eyes Harry!
5. The Real Watson Has Great Taste: In Perks, Sam loves Sonic Youth, The Smiths and (unknowingly) David Bowie. Not bad. But per her tweets, Emma digs art and indie flicks (Samsara and Safety Not Guaranteed), and of course, Audrey Hepburn.
6. Her American Accent Isn't Rubbish: At first, it's jarring not to hear her shout spell commands in her native English accent, but she pulls off '90s teen speak ("Face!") well.
7. She's Still Got Two Loyal Dudes to Cling To: With Patrick and Charlie at her side, they'll overcome all Death Eater obstacles that a 'burb in Philly can toss their way. Because, ya know, they are infinite.
8. Her Yule Ball Gown Has Nothing on Her Perks' Style: Anyone can look fab thanks to a magical makeover, but it's a real sartorial challenge to make a thrifted skirt and blouse look like a million bucks.
9. She's Still the Smartest Person Ever: Ron and Harry knew it and now the Perks kids do, too. More often than not, Sam knows best. Especially her belief that your first kiss should always be with someone that loves you. Awww.
10. Her New Playlist Rules: At one point, Sam stands up in the back of a pickup truck going through a tunnel as Bowie's "Heroes" blares on the radio. The moment is instantly iconic with her arms outstretched to infinity. She is Hermione no more!