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Paper Towns

Coming Soon

Following the success of last year’s The Fault in Our Stars, Fox 2000 has taken upon themselves to adapt a slew of John Green novels including “Looking for Alaska” (release date yet to be determined) and this year’s “Paper Towns.”
Nat Wolff played the cynical comedic best friend in last year’s adaption (as Isaac) and is the male lead in Paper Towns playing goody two shoes, Q. Along with his two best friends Radar and Ben, the trio are loveable nerds who lead, essentially, uneventful lives, until Margo Roth Spiegelman (Q’s neighbor and love of his life) comes to his window in the night and asks for help in completing nine tasks. There are revenge pranks, a lot of slow motion shots, longing stares at Margo that appear to go unnoticed, and the quintessential balcony shot looking out in to the horizon in which Margo declares their city of Orlando, Florida a paper town full of paper people.
Paper towns are fictitious landmarks/towns also known as copyright traps, intended to fish out map makers who copy other maps. Margo uses this term to equate the flimsiness and fakeness of their town as a whole. The rest of the movie centers around Margo’s disappearance the next day and leads to far too elaborate clues and a road trip where hi jinx ensue.
The movie itself has some very promising up-and-coming actors with natural comedic timing, some funny lines, and did I mention a lot of slow motion? Nat Wolff is set to star in a few movies coming up and I count myself a fan. He is very charismatic and good at what he does. We also get to meet Halston Stage (Neighbors), Austin Abrams, and Justice Smith all of which round out a talented cast. Many wonder how super model Cara Delevingne will fair, and I must say that I don’t know that I can objectively answer that because I found her character Margo to be insufferable.
The teens (as with most Green books) are very pretentious and manage to overcomplicate even the smallest of tasks. This film centers around friendship more than romance and shatters the bubble of the “manic pixie dream girl”. Described in the following as “that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures”. Also known as every unattainable female lead, ever. It was nice to stray from the norm but the constant self assessing and questioning of larger life themes in every day conversation just rings untrue and a bit precocious. I would love a film that gives more credit to the average American teen, as this did, but also doesn’t make said teens speak in riddles. I really enjoy watching book adaptions and while Green was a producer of this film, I’m not sure how avid fans of the book (of which I do count myself of one) will feel about this movie. Overall, it was colorful and exciting with an excellent cast but I struggled to get past the obnoxiousness of the characters themselves. If anything feels fake in Paper Towns, it is the likelihood of the story itself, but if you can get past that then it may be right up your ally.
Paper Towns is streaming now on the following services:
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