Based on the best-selling novel by author John Green, Paper Towns is a coming-of-age story based on the friendship between Quentin (Nat Wolff) and Margo (Cara Delevingne) who loves mysteries so much she becomes one.
After befriending Quentin at a tender young age after moving in across the street from him, Margo becomes infatuated with all things cryptic.
The pair drift apart after they both start high school, until one night when Margo appears in Quentin’s window to take him on an all-night adventure through their hometown. The following day she disappears, leaving a trail of clues behind her and prompting Quentin to go on an exhilarating adventure with his friends. Sounds corny doesn’t it?
Thankfully, Paper Towns is a little deeper than your average ‘boy meets girl’ rom-com, supported quite strongly by the unexpected ending where *SPOILER ALERT* boy does not get the girl.
Paper Towns is Delevingne’s leading actress debut, and despite a small amount of screen time (after all, she does go missing) she’s surprisingly amicable on screen.
Her friendship with Quentin is believable and earnest, and her acting appears to be well polished. This could be the start of a flourishing acting career for Delevingne, and let’s hope her appearance in Suicide Squad – the latest superhero film based on the DC Comics antihero team is even better than this.
Having nursed a long-time crush on the girl-next-door, Quentin frantically tries to find the clues to locate his beloved Margo, with help from his best friends Ben, (Austin Abrams) and Radar (Justice Smith) whose characters are equally as important to the storyline as the leading duos.
Both Abrams and Smith are highly comical, witty and well-suited to their roles. Nat Wolff is as equally quick and likeable and carries the ‘geek chic’ quality off pretty well.
As a whole, the film captures the ups and downs of adolescence, where being in love seems to be the only importance in life. Adulthood is frighteningly close for these teens, who are all in the final weeks of high school. Paper Towns illustrates the small journey between childhood and adulthood, and is probably more suited to a younger audience from myself.
While the story is a little weak and at times cliché, Wolff’s engaging performance teamed with the quick-witted dialogue from his accomplices makes the two-hour running time fly by.
Overall I’d award Paper Towns a 3.5/5. It is easy viewing and I may come back to it one lazy Sunday. For me, it isn’t as strong as the previous adaptation of John Green’s ‘A Fault in Our Stars’ which quite literally had me weeping like a baby. All in all, a solid film and a good start for Delevingne.