Paper Towns. Here we go. The second movie adaptation of another John Green book. To be honest, I really don’t remember much from this book which I read like 3-4 years ago. But oh well, it’s out and I watched it.
Well first of all, CARA FREAKING DELEVIGNE is one interesting creature. Her eyebrows are just so mesmerising and oh yeah, she’s a model. This is really what caught my eye. Sure, it was a John Green novel turned into movie but I seriously could not remember if I liked the book or not. I probably did but not as much as The Fault in Our Stars and that movie was ….. let’s not talk about that one….BECAUSE! we are here for Paper Ca–Towns!
So this movie was all right.
If you must have me compare it, I enjoyed it much more than I did The Fault in Our Stars, the movie.
Reasons? Well, Cara first of all is just lovely. This model turned actress (from scanning her wiki, this is probably her first lead role but it’s not her first time in acting) is surprisingly interesting to watch. I beg to differ but I swear this character was well written for her acting ability. There are times where she sounds like she’s just reciting some lines but it feels acceptable in context with the character she is playing who is quirky, strange and interesting. Her chemistry with Nat Wolff (the guy lead) was surprisingly enjoyable. The friendship they had and then the last time they see each other is awkward but familiar and I enjoyed how the both of them could convey that feeling through their interactions.
So onto Nat Wolff. I forgot he was in TFIOS (see how memorable that movie was for me?). He played a rather likeable dude, especially when you foil him with his two buddies, Ben and Radar( I don’t think they ever explained this name, so just go with it). His character motivations largely depends on whether or not you buy the whole “i love you all this time” thing he has with Cara. If you don’t, then I guess he’s pretty bland. But then again, they could have worked on fleshing out this love line a lot better in terms of actual interaction rather than just some narrative and him repeatedly saying he likes her.
Now on to the supporting cast, I feel like all of them did a great job. The trio had really good balance of character and chemistry. Ben played by Austin Abrams was overtly sexually inappropriate and a joker where as Justice Smith as Radar was the rational and logical piece of the group. The two girls on the other hand played rather stereotypical portrayals of their roles though (probably stems from Green’s writing) the arcs the couple plays is both a cliche (Ben&Lacey)and a step into reality (Radar&Angela).
Overall, the acting was what I expected, save a surprise here and there.
Now with the plot, I don’t really remember what the book was about so I can’t really compare the two but I should say that it probably was a good adaptation since Green was on set and all that, so he’s probably looking at what is different/same then again I don’t know how hands-on he is (though he did write the first draft of the screenplay).
But anyway, this story was fine. Clichés here and there but reality is still there. And that is what I enjoyed about this movie. The plot had a balance on character troupes but dealt with them at times in a rather honest way. Then again, this isn’t a real deep movie but then again it is dealing with subjects we have seen done so many times in other ‘teen’ movies (growing up, moving away, finding yourself) and the sad part is that it doesn’t tackle these issues in any new way.
One huge issue I had though was the voice-over narration. I feel that if they took it away and filmed things differently the first half of the movie would have been much more engaging and interesting but then instead we get Nat Wolff just talking about what is going onscreen. *yawn* Now in terms of pacing, it got a bit draggy and the movie should have been slimmed down by 10-15 minutes. The set-up for the road trip took rather long and nothing really ‘happened’.
All in all, it’s above your typical YA book adaptation (about life rather than dystopias or whatever). So if you wanna see how a guy confronts his feelings, check it out. Or you just wanna see Cara ‘act’, also check it out. If you want to check out a Green adaptation, check it out.
side note: I don’t really see how the target audience for this are teen girls, I just don’t see it. Rather fans of all Green should check this out to prove to stupid critics that this movie’s target audience is not just merely ‘teen girls’ cause his books clearly are not teen girls only books. Go read people.