The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.
Paper Towns (20th Century Fox)
Directed by Jake Schreier
Paper Towns is a nice little movie about a group of High School kids in their senior year. It’s pretty good. I liked the cast. I liked the story. I was only truly disappointed with the girl. It’s about this girl named Margo who disappears leaving clues for her childhood friend who lives next door. I didn’t like the character. I didn’t like the actress. I didn’t like the clues or the games she played. And I know that’s most of the plot. I didn’t like it. I liked the kids. I liked the cast. I liked the old friends and the new friends and the road trip. I just didn’t like Margo, who was the main focus of the movie. So wait, does that mean I liked the movie or didn’t like it? Don’t know. What I do know is I didn’t like the ending. So I’m gonna spoil it because otherwise there’d be no way to tell you what I didn’t like about it.
Verdict: SPOILED (even though I liked it… I think)
Paper Towns is, at its core, a love story. About the bitter-sweetness of first love. There was a lot with which to identify. I fell in love with the girl who lived next door as well. (I could never write her though… but maybe she’s in everything) However these two grow apart. Honestly they have nothing in common by the time they reach High School. Margo is the coolest kid in school and Quentin (Q to his friends) is your classic nerd with two very close partners in crime. Who don’t do any crime. They don’t break any rules at all. Her friends like to beat up his friends actually. (See why I don’t like her)
I like Quentin’s boys though. These were good characters. Three dimensional and knowable. I knew guys like that growing up. But no one like her. She’s a fantasy character. The kind of chick you only find in books. Completely made-up and unrealistic. She’s like Catwoman meets Buffy meets Kate Hudson from Almost Famous. But before I make her sound cool… she is not cool. Personally I don’t even think Cara Delevingne is that hot. Halston Sage, who plays her best friend, who supposedly is not as hot, is much much hotter in my opinion. (But I digress).
Our hero is in love with Margo. And for the life of me I don’t know why. She disappears weeks before graduation, after a night of revenge against her High School crew, where she uses our hero as her getaway driver. She uses him and vanishes. Then she leaves him clues to where she’s gone to without actually wanting him to follow. Yeah that’s the spoiler folks. She is literally leading him on.
These aren’t clues to tell him she’s okay. These are clues that say come follow me. I don’t know if it’s bad writing or if it’s lost in the adaptation or translation but her explanation is for shit. She knows he’s in love with her then she vanishes off the face of the Earth and then makes him come find her. It’s awful. Luckily he has his friends to keep him company. And the road trip they take together is the best part of the movie. Which is why I still kind of liked it in spite of the main character being dicked around for most of the time.
Also I identify with the road trip. I once road my bike out to Long Island. Miles and miles away from my house. Just to possibly run into a girl I thought I was in love with when I was a teenager. How was I supposed to know there was more than one Long Beach Island. I was in the wrong fucking state. Young love makes you do stupid shit. So that part of the movie I completely understand. Just not her. I didn’t understand her and I didn’t like her. Not the girl from the book. Not the girl from the movie. Not the girl who plays the girl.
I liked everything about this movie except for her. But she’s such a major part of the movie, it’s hard for me to say I truly liked the movie. Because I really didn’t like her. She’s pretentious. She’s vindictive. She’s self-centered, self-absorbed, just plain selfish and she’s a liar (She doesn’t call her sister everyday I didn’t believe that for a second). She didn’t really want him to travel with her. She would have dumped him first chance she got.
Paper Towns makes it seem like we’re supposed to like Margo. But I didn’t, so I guess I didn’t like the movie either. Or maybe I missed the point. Or maybe the book is better. Or maybe that’s the point, that she’s better on paper. And in actuality there’s nothing there at all once you get there. She’s unreal… like a paper town.