I wouldn’t want to have friends like this. So this is one of those stories where a high school boy named Quentin (Nat Wolff) has had a crush on his neighbor, Margo (Cara Delevingne), all of his life. Instead of having a conversation like a normal person, he chooses to sit on the information and stew, admiring from afar. They have a wild night where she gets her vengeance on friends that have wronged her, and then she disappears. It is up to him to search for tiny clues she left behind to determine where she went. Now I didn’t know much about Paper Towns, I just happened upon this based on IMDb voting popularity. I assumed that this was a hipster movie just based on the poster. While it doesn’t feature a stammering Michael Cera, it’s not that far away from it, if you follow my meaning.
There may not be any infinite playlists, but you get what I’m saying.
Maybe I am just going off of my personal high school experience, but I had a big disconnect with these characters and what kind of people they are playing, specifically, I had a problem with the way that Margo treats Quentin. She knows exactly what she is doing and has to know that she is being manipulative, and it made me just want to audibly yell out, “cut that out.” Chances are that you’ve seen this happen to someone, if not have had it personally done to yourself, and it instantly starts off the movie on the wrong foot. Paper Towns is actually three movies in one. The first is the aforementioned mischief night, which leads into the second: Quentin trying to solve the mystery that this girl left behind. Wrapping it all up is a road trip movie. The second part of the movie is the most interesting, but it still wasn’t enough to win me over.
High school kids are almost always the worst.
Paper Towns is a movie that wants to be this charming coming of age film, but it doesn’t have the charisma to pull it off. It doesn’t matter if it is a lead or a sidekick, every single one of these characters got on my nerves, and you can tell they fancied themselves to be wittier than they actually are. What makes it fall extremely flat is that there are comedic lines that are just not funny; I know that John Green has a pretty big following after The Fault in Our Stars, but it ends up coming off like a less talented Diablo Cody. I kind of zoned out the longer this went, and this really wasn’t made with me in mind.
Paper Towns (2015) **
– Critic for Hire