Directed by Jake Schreier
Story by John Green
Released on July 24, 2015
Genre: Mystery/Drama film
Young and shy Quentin (Nat Wolff) is in for the night of his life when Margo (Cara Delevingne), the most popular student in high school, recruits him to help her play mischievous pranks on the friends who betrayed her. The next day, however, the mysterious Margo is nowhere to be found. With help from a few buddies and some cryptic clues that she left behind, Quentin embarks on an obsessive mission to find the girl who stole his heart and made him feel truly alive.
PAPER TOWNS is, by far, my favorite book-to-movie adaptation of this year.
i watched it a month ago – the day before it was released to theaters – and i still remember the bubbling excitement i felt as i walked into the theater. i went to the night on the towns premier (as i mentioned in my new york part v post), and that was a little different from actually going to the paper towns movie. for one, there were hardly any trailers and we went straight to the movie itself. as the lights began to dim, john green’s face pops onto the screen and he says a few words: the usual “thank you for coming; i hope you enjoy the movie.” THEN, dylan o’brien’s face pops up and he starts talking about THE SCORCH TRIALS movie and i’m screaming my head off. we get the first look on the trailer and i’m bursting in my seat and everything is great. after that is finished, the movie begins.
for the next two hours, i was laughing one moment and crying the next. my emotions went on a roller coaster ride, but one that i knowingly signed up for. paper towns did not disappoint. compared to the book, there were some changes made in the plot. however, it’s clear these changes are necessary; these changes were for the better. the paper towns novel was more metaphorical-based, showing the themes through characters and quotes; the paper towns movie was more plot-driven to keep audience members engaged. there were some parts that i actually like BETTER in the movie because it made more sense to the plot.
i have a feeling many people didn’t enjoy the movie because it was very average. what i mean by that is: quentin is a normal person and the things that happen to him may happen to everyday people. he goes to school, has a crush on this girl, lives in a small town, etc. there’s not anything spectacular going on. margo is a more remarkable character, but still, is a relatively normal person (has a boyfriend, wants revenge, etc). she’s definitely more spontaneous, making her more interesting, but still “normal.” the plot itself isn’t super interesting because of that, but I LOVED IT MORE. (some people didn’t and don’t. that’s fine!) although the movie is obviously more plot-driven than the book, the themes and morals were clearly shown through. the whole purpose was to show that we are all human beings who make mistakes and have flaws! it would only make sense to have “flawed” characters. i liked how the director and screenwriters stayed with the plot of the book despite the so-called average events because it connected with the moral of the story: there are miracles in our lives every day; people are not miracles, but people are people and THAT’S OKAY.
the actors and actresses did a wonderful job playing out their roles. i was very surprised by this because many of them were fairly new and unknown. nat was so geeky and awkward and flawed and IT WAS GREAT. he was quentin in real-life-form. cara also did an awesome job debuting as margo. it was a bit hard to judge because there actually aren’t many scenes with her, but i liked her nonetheless. austin (abrams) was my favorite as ben sterling, q’s close friend. there were so many hilarious scenes with him where i was literally laughing my head off and i could not stop.
a few of my favorite scenes: View Spoiler »the entire road trip which includes a CAMEO FROM ANSEL ELGORT OHMYGOD (i was actually screaming my head off at this part. ACTUALLY.); when the three of them are singing the pokemon song AHAHA; drunk ben; the black santas; when they rip off his eyebrow; lacey and ben because they are hilarious and so cute; « Hide Spoiler
overall, i absolutely adored this film. surprisingly, i enjoyed it much more than THE FAULT IN OUR STARS film, which is strange because i liked TFIOS book better than the PAPER TOWNS book. everything about it was so raw and real. i completely connected with the story and the characters and it just made me feel ALL THE THINGS. as i was watching the movie, i, as well as others around me, were experiencing everything the characters were going through. we were reacting together and it felt like we, the people watching it and making it, were a family. the chemistry and ambiance was so powerful. it was weird, but i think that’s how every movie should feel like.