Paper Towns Review: Chasing an illusion

Paper Towns is based off the John Green book of the same name about a boy named Quentin ‘Q’ Jacobsen (Nat Wolff) and his quest to find Margo Roth Spiegelman (Cara Delevingne), who went missing.  Along with his best friends Ben (Austin Abrams) and Radar (Justice Smith), they set out on their own adventure to find the clues which Margo supposedly left for Quentin.  Eventually figuring out where Margo was, the three boys alongside Margo’s best friend, Lacey Pemberton (Halston Sage) and Radar’s girlfriend, Angela (Jaz Sinclair), they head out on a road trip to find Margo and bring her home.

Nat as Q was basically the best casting ever.  Despite having played a character from The Fault in Our Stars, I thought Nat actually held the movie together (as he should) being the lead.  I especially liked the last scene where he made me tear up when he said this: “You gave me all my firsts.”  It could be a statement or a realization but when Nat said it, his eyes were tearing up and if you remembered what Margo told him earlier, you would understand the relation.

“ET Phone Home.” Source: Fox 2000 Pictures, Temple Hill Entertainment

Having read the book, I had a certain sort of standard because The Fault in Our Stars was done well.  So I was a little disappointed when I noticed key facts were not inside or changed to fit the movie version better.

Here were 3 of my pet peeves when watching Paper Towns (the ones that kinda bothered me a little):

1. No Sea World Scene
The Sea World scene from the book was MISSING! I felt that it was kinda crucial since it was where Q and Margo danced under the moonlight instead of dancing in the SunTrust Center.  But! I understand that we shouldn’t promote Sea World since they are still keeping Orcas in captivity and no one should continue to pay them for that.

2. Lacey Pemberton and Ben
The two of them actually got together much earlier in the book and it was a little weird to see them getting together ONLY when they are almost reaching Algoe.  It felt a little off for me cause it suddenly seem like Lacey was seeing if Ben was good enough for her before deciding to go out with him.

3. Radar’s girlfriend – Angela
Okay, I’m all for the more the merrier on a roadtrip but Angela didn’t go on the roadtrip with them in the book.  It was kinda strange to see this character we hardly knew come on the roadtrip, to find a girl she didn’t really know.

4. Algoe, New York
They were supposed to find her in that barn but instead of that, Q finds her in town.  I didn’t like how that setting changed because it almost kinda looked like they had to show how Q gets his bus ticket so that it was believable that he was able to get home.

“I’m going to be real with you. When we find Margo, she still isn’t going to be your girlfriend.” Source: Fox 2000 Pictures, Temple Hill Entertainment

But, despite all that, there were some minor difference between the book and the movie that I liked.

1. Ben’s character/personality
In the book, I found Ben very much like a douche.  I liked that they gave his character more heart in making him seem like a sensitive guy.

2. The Pokemon song
I mean… Nothing can beat this scene.  I was actually wondering what they were singing until I recognized the melody and burst out laughing.

“We should form a boy band right?” Source: Fox 2000 Pictures, Temple Hill Entertainment

In a lot of ways, I felt that this movie thought me a thing or two about relationships we have in reality.  We often think we know someone better than they know themselves but we never stop to think that it could be a projection of what we want them to be.  Q’s problem was that he never thought of Margo as someone human – an ordinary girl with ordinary problems like not knowing what she wants in life.  He always thought of her as more than a person which was the defining factor that led him to realize he couldn’t impose his beliefs on something that never existed.

All in all, Paper Towns is brilliant in its own way and everyone should go catch it if they can!




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