Quentin (Nat Wolff) has always stayed within his comfort zone, never taking risks and always following the rules. He’s also been in love with his neighbor Margo (Cara Delevingne) from afar. Besides being beautiful, Margo has been known to be filled with adventure and mystery. One night, when Margo sneaks through his bedroom window and gives him a night of risk-taking and living, he feels like he’s living the night of his life. When Margo goes missing, Quentin finds clues he believes Margo left for him to find her.
Paper Towns is the newest entry in the John Green film adaptations. Following the romantic drama The Fault in Our Stars, this film takes a different approach despite the trailers appearance. While there is a love story involved, it’s not really the focus. Paper Towns focuses mostly on the coming of age aspects of finding yourself, living life, and seeing people as more than just how you envision them to be. It takes all of these true to life aspects and puts it together in a way that actually works for the story and the characters instead of becoming some teen soap opera. The characters themselves are pretty relatable. Each character has their own story and is given a good amount of focus to where we could see a little bit of ourselves in each of them. We have characters that are misunderstood, sheltered, just looking for a good time, and those who want their lives planned out. On top of this, all of the characters are really likable. Nat Wolff brings a strong performance and likability to Quentin, he’s not the average dork or male lead we always get, which makes him all the more likable and believable. In this case, and much like the other characters, we feel like we’re watching real teens. While Wolff turns in an excellent performance as our main lead, it’s the leading lady Cara Delevingne who brings in a strong breakthrough performance. The model turned actress brings a lot of depth and wonder required for the role of Margo. While the role itself doesn’t require much emotion or strong acting, it’s easy to the thoughts and emotions she’s trying to emit FROM the character, it’s impressive just much she invests herself into the character and her mindset. It’s not an Oscar-worthy role, but for having no acting experience and having to rely mostly on her looks, she brings the role of Margo to life. Together, with what little screen time they do have, Wolff and Delevingne have pretty strong chemistry and you really enjoy their scenes together. The same goes for the actors who plays Quentin’s best friends Ben and Radar, you love their relationship and it also feels real. Austin Abrams who plays Ben brings in an extremely comical performance and really sells the part of the goofball friend.
So, if you weren’t a fan of The Fault in Our Stars because of romance, Paper Towns is probably a better choice for you in that it takes a much more realistic approach towards the life of teenagers and life in general. Along with this we have strong writing, character developments, and a great cast and performances that keep the film going.