Paper Towns – Movie Review

Paper TownsPaper Towns – PG-13
Release Date: Fri 24 Jul 2015

Paper Towns is the second film adaptation of a John Green novel after last year’s The Fault in Our Stars. (Both books have the same titles as the movies.) A high school senior named Quentin (Nat Wolff) has had a secret crush on a girl of the same age who lives across the street: Margo (Cara Delevingne.) Though they had been friends when they were much younger, they have not really had much to do with one another. That changes when Margo comes to Quentin’s window one night and asks him to drive a “getaway car” as she sets out to see revenge on her cheating boyfriend and two friends who betrayed her. A few days later, Margo is confirmed to be missing but before she ran away she planted clues that Quentin starts piecing together before setting out with some friends to try and find her.

It’s unfortunate that much of the pranks Margo and Quentin pull on the revenge plot were ruined in the trailer, and the sequence suffers overall by not quite making Margo especially interesting. However, the sequence is only a fraction of the first act and the rest of the movie does a better job of presenting more well-rounded characters. I have not read the book, but I imagine that people that have can enjoy the movie better for knowing more history about the characters than the movie has time to present. Unlike The Fault In Our Stars, Paper Towns is a more traditional movie script with three distinct acts.

The message of the movie is a good one, and Quentin’s friends Radar (Justice Smith) and Ben (Austin Abrams) are funny and interesting characters. The PG-13 rating comes from a bit of language and underage drinking. It’s one of those movies where parents are mostly non-existent and certainly not developed. This is likely to streamline the story and keep the focus on the high school characters. While the vast majority of the audience at my screening were teenage girls, the movie definitely has enough humor and intrigue for adult viewers.

Aaron and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion in the car:


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