“Paper Towns” is based on a best-selling novel but doesn’t translate well to film.
After growing apart from his childhood friend and lifelong crush Margo, Quentin is reunited with her for one crazy night. During that night Quentin engages in a variety of mischevious pranks alongside Margo, only to find that she’s fled from home the following day. While others inquire about her wherabouts, Quentin discovers a variety of clues left for him to find his way to her.
Cinematics (Plot, Acting, Cinematography, etc.) – 2.5
The plot of “Paper Towns” was an interesting concept for a teenage romantic comedy. The idea of reuniting childhood friends (and crushes) for a night of mischief and a journey to find each other attempts to combine humor with mystery.
While there are some notable moments of humor, the potential for the plot dissipates with the lack of chemistry between Quentin (Nat Wolff) and Margo (Cara Delevingne). Nat Wolff fits well into this role much like other roles he’s played before, but Cara Delevingne just seems distant throughout. Even though her character is intended to be a bit of a loner, she feels isolated from the rest of the cast. This in turn hurts the fundamental relationship of the film and the plot as well.
The plot and character development both suffer due to the inability to connect to these characters. Outside of the main characters, the supporting cast falls into a category of stereotypical roles that we’ve seen in many movies like this even though their performances were adequate. And even though a quest and mystery unraveling would usually pique interest, “Paper Towns” proves that a quest without true reason or purpose is not that engaging. In my opinion “Paper Towns” ends without any true resolve leaving the characters essentially in the same state they were at in the beginning.
Entertainment Value – 2
I’ve found entertainment in teen romance films before but “Paper Towns” is almost absent of entertainment. There is an initial excitement about who these characters are and what they will become but their development throughout is not close to audience expectations.
The first 20 minutes of the film carried a bit of intrigue with the pranks carried out on fellow classmates and discovering who Margo was, but things became mundane on the journey to find her. I found myself losing interest after this point but stuck through it hoping for an underlying resolution. I was unfortunately disappointed.
Rewatchability – 1.5
This is a film that I don’t think that I could bear to watch again. After knowing the lackluster outcome I don’t see a need to sit through a viewing.
If you enjoyed the film or even have an interest in the characters and actors, then the extras featured on this Blu-ray release may be of interest. There’s a gag reel that has some pretty funny outtakes throughout which could be appealing for those seeking a more human side of these young actors. It also gives a gauge of their true personalities. For the fans of the original novel, there are some extras that could tie together any loose ends and connections missing between the novel and the film.
"Paper Towns" may find its footing with some out of touch younger generations but for many, this film will fall short of any lasting appeal. The Blu-ray features some extras that may rope in fans of the book but I'm not sure if that's enough to create an engaging interest in the film.