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My phone buzzed with a simple question, “Paper Towns?” I sat on a concrete wall, at a bus stop in the warm summer air. For months the movie hype had been growing with posters, radio promos, and trailers. As my family entered the theater parking lot, I mentally prepared myself for a journey.
The opening began with a jarring nostalgic childhood scene. Two kids were riding their bikes through a suburban neighborhood in Florida. It concluded in an investigation of a death. This set the stage for the rest of the movie, which was centered around the relationship between Quentin Jacobsen, the protagonist played by Nat Wolff, and his friends. Quentin becomes obsessed with finding Margo Roth Speigelmen, played by Cara Delevinge, the runaway love interest and next door neighbor.
Nat Wolff’s character embodied your average teenage do-gooder. He had never been to a party, never ditched school, and worries about missing a pop quiz. The film highlighted what it means to be in a relationship whether it be romantic or not. It poses the central question what is more important in life the end result or the journey you take to get there?
The movie did a wonderful job of bringing to life the teenage struggle with leaving friends and family to go to college. I can not speak to whether the movie holds up next to John Greens novel. I have never read it. As a stand alone motion picture it stimulated conversation and thought about my own life and what is really important.
The film style used perfectly accompanied the movie. The music was not too distracting allowing you to actually focus on story being told. Though it aired on the side of being more serious there were definite moments of laugh out loud humor lightening the mood and making the movie altogether highly enjoyable.
The best part was the ending as it wasn’t cheesy ensuring that the movie didn’t result in a cliché. As a summer flick with friends or family the movie is perfect. As a study in art or progressive film however, this two hours would be a waste of time. I highly recommend this movie to any who are looking for an entertaining way to escape the summer heat or enjoy some family bonding.
As I left the theater that night I realized that I had really been able to connect with Quentin. I was surprised by my feelings towards some of the other characters. I couldn’t believe that people could be so selfish. This helped me reflect on my own life and realize what I want as I graduate high school.