‘Paper Towns’ lack unique romance storyline and on-screen chemistry

Published by adviser, Author: Amber Cannon - Campus Life Editor, Date: August 27, 2015

From the author of “The Fault in Our Stars”, “Paper Towns” is the film adaption of the young adult book John Green released on Sept. 22, 2009.

The movie premiered in theaters on July 24. Thousands of fans of the book and even fans who never read the book rushed to theaters to see this “coming-of-age” story come to life. According to imdb.com, the movie only grossed $12.6 million during opening weekend. Nat Wolff stars as the leading man, Quentin Jacobsen, and Cara Delevingne stars as his love interest Margo Speigelman. Some of the supporting characters in include Austin Abrams as Ben Starling, Justin Smith as Radar Lincoln and Halston Sage as Lacey Pemberton.

The movie begins by showing Margo moving across the street from Quentin. Even though Quentin was only a kid at this point in the movie, he decided he was in love with Margo right away. One day, when Quentin and Margo were riding their bikes through the park, they found a man who was apparently dead sitting under a tree. This incident causes Margo to go looking for an answer as to why the man died, but when Quentin tells Margo he doesn’t want her to go, she leaves on her bike and disappears.

The movie picks up years later, where Margo and Quentin are seniors in high school. Although we don’t see it in the movie, it is made clear that Quentin hasn’t associated with Margo since the dead man incident, but suddenly Margo appears in Quentin’s window and asks to use his mom’s car to go on an adventure. When Quentin finally gives in and says yes, they go on their adventure to get revenge on Margo’s ex-boyfriend because he cheated on her. After their “crazy” adventure, Margo disappears again, which causes Quentin to gather up all his friends, Ben, Radar and Margo’s “best friend,” Lacey, and go on a road-trip to Agloe, New York, the assumed location of Margo.

This is the part in the movie when I started to drift off into la-la land. In my opinion, the plot seemed to switch between going to find Margo and getting back to Orlando, Florida in time so that Quentin and his friends could attend their senior prom. At the end, Quentin finds Margo, but Margo doesn’t go with him and he takes a bus to make it back to prom in time, making his whole entire road trip worthless and in my opinion, making the movie worthless as well.

There was no distinct part in the movie that was better than the next part. The ordinary, “the boy and girl start to like each other and then one of them leaves and they find each other because they were destined to be” romance story line was present throughout the movie. Instead of coming up with a unique romance storyline to set the movie a part, the movie went for the old fashioned love story. The on-screen chemistry between Wolff and Delevingne was also hard to watch. They lacked an on-screen chemistry that most romantic, “coming-of-age” stories present. It made me, the viewer, not believe in the young, star-crossed love.

The only thing that saved this movie for me a little was the fact that the script was good. Thank you, John Green. John Green has a way of making the viewer feel as though they’re in the movie and connected to the characters. Also, I really enjoyed seeing a diverse cast in this movie. Sometimes in high school, it’s hard to find a group of diverse friends, but the producers and casting crew made sure that there was a mix of diversity throughout their friend group, which I appreciated and enjoyed. Although I didn’t read the book, the movie slightly ruined the book for me.

I would not recommend this film to everyone simply because sometimes the movie was hard to follow and the plot shifts were very distracting and took away from the blossoming romance between the two main characters. I hope the next movie chosen to be a film adaption of one of John Green’s books is more exciting and unique than “Paper Towns.”


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