Review: Paper Towns

As a huge fan of TFIOS and the general euphoria surrounding all things John Green, I went to see Paper Towns on opening day.

Paper Towns follows Q's borderline obsession with Margo since she moved in across the street from him when they were kids. They immediately became friends and were the best of such until her outgoing tendencies pushed her farther and farther away from Q until they no longer acknowledged each other. All's quiet on the Margo front until one night when she knocks on Q's window. She has nine things she needs to do and he's going to be her getaway driver. The next morning, Margo's nowhere to be found...until Q starts tracing the clue's she's left behind.

I don't have a strong connection to Paper Towns at face value. I haven't read the book yet (on my super long to-be-read list) and I knew nothing more about the story than what I saw in the trailer before my viewing. I'm glad that that was the case. I was surprised by the outcome in such brilliant ways. All of the character arcs are well executed, only leaving me wanting more screentime for every single one.

Q is a super reserved and play-by-the-rules type of high school senior. I really connect to his strict sense of self, not allowing himself to go outside the lines because of the anxiety of what consequences will follow. Juxtaposed with Margo's unrestrained sense of the world being her playground full of possibilities, you crave more adventurous Margo. You also want Margo's rebellious nature to rub off on Q (I mean, live a little, kid!). Margo may talk a lot of nonsense, thinking she knows more about life than she actually does, but she's right about one thing for certain: everything that Q wants in life is outside of his comfort zone. Live a life outside the boundaries that you've set for yourself and who knows what might happen.

Paper Towns lives within its brilliant cast and characters. I can easily see why John Green thought that Nat Wolff was perfect to play Q and all of his insecurities. Q's best friends Ben, Radar, Lacey, and Angela light up the film with their fantastic chemistry. I wanted them all (especially smart and quietly hysterical Radar) in every scene. Road tripping with this cast of characters, who's in?!

The biggest surprise for me (apart from that fantastically absurd cameo) was Cara Delevingne as Margo. I am familiar with Cara only from her modeling work and her eccentrically authentic social media persona. While lots of people were skeptical I truly tried to keep an open mind with her and I was so impressed with what I saw. Cara has this mystery about her, like that of Margo, where you immediately want to ask her everything about her life, but you know you'll only get vague non-answers. You want to see more of her onscreen to learn the facets of what makes her tick. The representation of Margo from Cara who's seen by millions of people and their differing visions of her in their heads: she is every one and none of their thoughts. She's not your Manic Pixie Dream Girl. She's just a girl and Cara brought such a power to that.

If you're questioning whether or not to check out Paper Towns in theaters my advice is to watch the trailer. Did you love the trailer? Then go check it out! If Nat and Cara aren't enough to sway you, then maybe wait until home release and watch it on DVD. Either way, it's a film you'll want to have in your library.

Paper Towns is a modern day version of a classic John Hughes high school film. With spot-on music, it's sweet and fun tone, and reflection of the self, I'll definitely be re-watching for years to come. The end of this film is one of the most satisfying I've seen this year. Plus, what's a teen movie without an epic slow-motion prom scene? Teach me your smooth moves, Nat Wolff!


P.S. Tune in on Saturday for my August Slate! It's going to be....smoking hot!


Post a Comment