Paper Towns Review

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Paper Towns, the latest film adaptation of one of John Green’s books, came out earlier this week to rave reviews. For those not familiar with the story, Paper Towns is your classic ‘Boy meets Girl, Girl ignores Boy even though Boy is hopelessly in love with Girl’ story, but with a satisfying twist.
The film opens with lead Q (Nat Wolff) explaining to the audience that his neighbor, Margo Roth Spiegelman (Cara Delevingne) is his “miracle.” It quickly becomes evident that growing up the two were partners in crime, but as they reached teenage-hood and Margo crossed over to the popular crowd, she became nothing more to Q than a fantasy that lived across the street. At the start of the film, we see Q lusting over her as she slow-mo walks around town, as all hot people seem to do in movies. But, all of that changes one night when Margo appears at his window and asks him to come on an adventure of revenge. The two, set to an incredible soundtrack, begin their quest of humiliating Margo’s “friends” who burned her.
Margo, who is undoubtedly an adrenalin junkie, introduces Q to harmless but heart-pumping minor felonies, such as breaking and entering and vandalism throughout the night, and continues to push him past his comfort zone. Q, who up until this point seems to be crippled by anxiety and fear of consequence, is captivated by her free spirit and for the first time takes a risk. Then, just as abruptly as she came, Margo vanishes and the real story begins.
Admittedly, the movie is loaded with cliches and involves some cringe-worthy dialogue but still I found it refreshing and original. As with most book-to-big-screen conversions, there are parts of this film that stray from the novel, a point many Tumblr fans voiced their concerns about, but for me that didn’t matter so much because in the end the message was the same — people are just people.
As the film begins to move toward its third act, Green begins to unpack the stereotypes of high school, which I think is an important message for anyone of that age watching it. In this modern world of social media and technology, people can completely sculpt and manage their identity to be whoever they want to be. It’s interesting to move beyond that and see that while on the outside that popular, fit, and perfect girl may seem to have it all together, in reality she may be struggling just as much as you are.

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Picture courtesy of 20th Century Fox