film/book tie in, book, film, coming of age, papertowns

Paper Towns: A film as paper thin as the title suggests

On the list of feel good teenager movies of the summer, brought to us by the people who brought us The Fault With Our Stars it was hyped to be a summer blockbuster. Quentin is the shy geeky kid at school who never seems to fit in, who studies hard and never seems to take a single risk in his life. Just concerned with going to college, getting a good job, house, wife and kids. Old before his time. He hangs around with the geeky kids, comic books, yu gi oh. Never been to a party in his life. Until the night his old friend Margo turns up at his bedroom window to invite him on an adventure.

It had been years since they spoke, even though they are next door neighbours. They had grown apart over the years, Quentin had always loved Margo but she had gone off with other boys. Started a life of adventuring. She would disappear for days or weeks at a time, returning to school with crazy stories of where she had been and what she had done. No one ever knew if they were true, but they made her become a living legend.

They have one incredible night righting all the wrongs in Margo's life, Q gets to see a slice of what a real life could be like. Embarrassing the boy who had cheated on her, the girl he had cheated with and the friend who knew about it. Then next day Margo is gone, leaving clues for Quentin to follow and find her. If he is clever enough, or wants it enough. With the help of his friends, her best friend and her little sister they embark on a mission to find out what happened to Margo.

You would expect this to be a great feel good movie. The whole right of passage, learning what it is to be an adult now. A love story of Q and Margo finding a way to ride off into the sunset together. The typical trashy romance teenage film you usually experience. However without ruining too much, Q ends up with a choice at the end of the film. A choice for which he makes what to me is the coward's choice. Leaving the ending of the film feeling rather depressing at best. Almost as if the writer had no idea how to end the piece when he got there. Certainly not the kind of positive life message I would want my teenage child to watch. Coupled with very poor acting, and pitchy dialogue at best I found this movie to be merely mediocre. Not the breakaway classic it was advertised to be. Yet somehow it has managed to take $82 million at the box office since its release. If you do want to watch this movie, I strongly suggest waiting until it comes down cheap on dvd or even until it comes to the television. I wish I hadn't spent good money on a cinema ticket for it. The only slightly interesting part of the movie is when Margo and Q are performing the pranks.

to view the trailer please click here

Sarah Beth James

@wickedwitchgal

​first published on thecinemarks.com