Paper Towns (20th Century Fox Film Corporation, PG-13)

papertowns 75Paper Towns is brilliant from start to finish—it’s impossible not to love this movie.

 

 

 

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For those who have not read the novel by John Green, be warned that the trailer for Paper Towns is misleading: this is not a love story. Paper Towns is a coming of age story about 18-year-old Quinten (Nat Wolff, The Fault in Our Stars) as he and his friends embark on a journey set into motion by their mysterious friend and classmate, Margo (supermodel Cara Delevingne).

Whenever a novel is adapted into a screenplay, there has to be changes, that’s a given, but fans of John Green’s Paper Towns can take comfort in the fact that screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (both of The Spectacular Now and (500) Days of Summer) stayed true to the novel’s story. The minor changes fans will notice were obviously made for time or location restraints, but there are no major changes to the course of action. Fans will be pleased to see all of the characters come to life exactly as they seem on the page.

Director Jake Schreier was very creative in incorporating multiple facets of the book that I expected to be lost, such as Margo’s affinity to use random capitalization when writing instead of following the traditional rules of grammar. With such a large group of young actors, many in their first big roles in a feature film, Schreier produced one fantastic finished product. All of the actors look like pros. There were not many locations used in this film, but Schreier was still able to give us a feel of each new place we visited.

Paper Towns is delightfully funny. Nat Wolff, Austin Abrams, and Justice Smith play best friends, and are a dynamic trio who keep the laughs coming the entire course of the film.

Though the characters of Paper Towns are seniors in high school, I would argue that they’re easily relatable to anyone. They discuss insecurities that can be applied to any stage of life such as losing friendships, moving to a new place, and missing out on opportunities by playing it safe.

If you enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars, you will love Paper Towns. It’s not a surface-level film. Underneath the jokes there is a very serious message: are we made of paper, and just going through the motions while someone else pulls the strings? Or are we in charge of our destinies? This is a story to get you thinking about how you live your life—why do you make the decisions you make? Are you going after what you want, or what someone else wants? | Samantha LaBat

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