These “transfer” reviews are from when I only did reviews on my Facebook page back in 2015. Bare in mind when reading these, I didn’t have the same formula in my review writing that I do now, and my usual “who starred and who directed” information is completely absent, so everything “italicized” is new. With that said, enjoy this review from 2015.
“From the author of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.” The moment I read this, I had this movie pegged as far as how successful it would be. It would be, and people would be praising the living crap out of it, but in reality, it’s going to be the same movie, same characters, just may not dabble in another sick person story. So far, I think the movie is breaking even, but it’s still fresh off its release, so it will probably end up being a success. Not a blockbuster, but it won’t bankrupt a studio. In any case, I wasn’t hearing too much about it at first, except maybe one person who didn’t like it too much, but I’d seen the trailer enough to be curious if it would throw something new into the mix. Put a pair of pants on, grabbed my SR-2 hat, and drove my butt to Sherman Oaks for this film.
Starring: Nat Wolff (HOME AGAIN , GRANDMA , and upcoming films STELLA’S LAST WEEKEND  and MORTAL ), Cara Delevingne (VALERIAN , SUICIDE SQUAD , PAN , and upcoming films LONDON FIELDS  and FEVER HEART ), Austin Abrams (BRAD’S STATUS ), Justice Smith (EVERY DAY , and upcoming films JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM  and DETECTIVE PIKACHU ), and Halston Sage (BEFORE I FALL  and GOOSEBUMPS )
Director: Jake Schreier (feature film debut)
Writers: Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (THE DISASTER ARTIST )
Composer: Son Lux (stuff I’ve never heard of)
Cinematographer: David Lanzenberg (the upcoming PEPPERMINT )
Editors: Jacob Craycroft (BRIGSBY BEAR ) and Jennifer Lame (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA , and the upcoming HEREDITARY )
This is my honest opinion of: PAPER TOWNS
When they were kids, Margo (Hannah Alligood) had just moved in to the neighborhood across the street from Quentin (Josiah Cerio), whom fell in love with her instantly. They soon became friends. Margo was an adventerous girl, and Quentin was more reserved and low-key. One day, the come across a dead man lying in the open. Though Quentin wasn’t too affected by the ordeal, Margo become obsessed with mysteries. After turning her down for an adventure, Quentin and Margo soon drifted apart. Fast-forward to the end of high school, Margo (Cara Delevingne) is a popular girl, retaining her adventurous streak, and Quentin (Nat Wolff) remains the mild-mannered kid he always was, who still loves Margo, even though they haven’t spoken in years. That changes one night when Margo invites Quentin on a complicated revenge mission against her ex-boyfriend and two of her best friends. He’s naturally reluctant at first, but agrees seeing as he’s about to spend some time with his childhood crush. He ends up having the time of his life and both hoping that things will change the next day. While Quentin holds onto his hope, things do end up changing, but not in the way he expected. After three days, Margo has gone missing and her parents are not rushing to find her.
I won’t lie, every target I was looking for when I was watching showed its neon-lit red and white face and my critiquing crosshairs didn’t miss a shot. Dear god, like FAULT and the recent ME AND EARL AND THEY DYING GIRL, these movies just can’t resist telling the story of the cliché socially awkward teenagers who don’t really act like socially awkward teenagers. Lets also throw in the most socially awkward kid of the group and have him bag the hottest hottie we have in the story for good measure. These were just a few of the clichés I found in the movie that bugged me.
AND YET… and yet, I can’t help but feel like the movie said and did something that profoundly touched on the very reason why I watch movies at all. To be inspired, to think, to feel, to be given a new or fresh perspective on the story’s subject matter. Truthfully, the ending is what makes this movie incredibly worth-while.
I can’t deny that I identify with Quentin more than I even expected. He’s in love with a girl he can’t have and doesn’t end up getting. He’s a mild-mannered person who wishes he could get her attention, wants to be adventurous, but is still just a normal guy. Often, I found myself in that same boat. In a lot of ways, I envy this kid’s circumstances because he goes on this grand adventure and the movie really got me excited with him. A gesture of romance and intrigue, I wish I had something like that going on for me, even if it is as brief as his. But all the while, he’s doing it with his closest friends and making memories with them for the last time before they embark on their new lives in college and wherever else they end up. Quentin does indeed make those memories, and like I said, he doesn’t get the girl in the end, but he ends the story on a note that this was the adventure he’s needed to appreciate what he has. Margo was a special person, that much was clear, but so were Ben and Radar, Lacey, they were with him every step of the way on this trip and he almost missed that. This film’s ending had me reminiscing on the friends that I had at the time. While me and my high school friends mostly kept in touch after graduation, I couldn’t help but remember some of the best times we shared before eventually drifting apart ourselves. And you know what? I kind of want to cry. Not out of depression or sadness, but out of happiness. I loved my friends when they were around, and it’s sad that we don’t make new and exciting memories together now, but the story acknowledges that this is part of growing up and how these memories can shape who you are.
Like I said, this movie had many, many problems. But at the end of the night, I was moved by the ending and I am STILL thinking about it. As a whole, the movie isn’t anything great, but the ending is what brought it home for me. I was praying for a great payoff at the end of this highway of clichés, and dear God that payoff was incredible.
My honest rating for PAPER TOWNS: 4/5