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Paper Towns: Movie Review


"Paper Towns" is a mildly fun romp of a road trip that frustrates but defines what could possibly be a younger and modern rendition of what true and unconditional love is. While the film had a lot of liberties in adapting the book to the big screen, those changes made the big screen adaptation actually a lot better and more palatable than its written form.

Quentin (Nat Wolff) has been madly in love with his enigmatic neighbor Margo (Cara Delevingne) since he first met her. Unfortunately, through the years, they have fallen out of friendship. What was once her first friend and adventure, Quentin would be lucky if Margo just noticed him. As high school is coming to an end, Margo suddenly barges into Quentin's room. She invites him to a night of redemption and adventure - which he hesitantly accepts. After the all-night adventure through their hometown, Margo suddenly disappears - leaving behind cryptic clues for Quentin to decipher. The search leads Quentin and his quick-witted friends on an exhilarating adventure that is equal parts hilarious and moving. Ultimately, to track down Margo, Quentin must find a deeper understanding of true friendship and true love.

"Paper Towns" was a surprise for us. As much as we wanted to like it before seeing it, we never really loved the book. We found it to be a little too harsh for our tastes but the film took a lot of liberties to change the story to be more grounded in its big screen form. The faster, slimmer and quicker rendition has actually made "Paper Towns" work. The brisk pace makes things more interesting than they should be and avoided what could have been a slow and dull experience. Additionally, the movie was well-acted. We really lived the dynamic trio of Nat Wolff, Austin Abrams and Justice Smith which brought a lot of much needed humor when it was needed most. While the other support cast was okay but their limited screen times clearly affected what they could have contributed in the overall film. Finally, just a minor gripe, but the film has some inconsistencies with its makeup. In particular, near the end, it was just slightly disorienting to see Nat Wolff look extremely different from what he looked like 90% of the time. Overall, "Paper Towns" was enjoyable and fun. Not as inspiring as it may seem but good enough to at least give it a go.

Rating: 3 and a half reels





Why you should watch it:
- changes from book to film made the story more palatable
- the film was well-acted and the cast had great chemistry

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the film has slight inconsistencies in the makeup department
- it's not as inspirational and deep as it may seem

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