Starring: Cara Delevingne, Halston Sage, Nat Wolff, Caitlin Carver, Cara Buono (Rated M 109 min).
Obviously the tedium of being a teenager in suburbia is so unbearable, the only way to quit the boredom is become a mysterious rebel without a cause and fly by night with your secret admirer, then vanish. Margot Roth Spiegelman is the beautiful young teenage runaway leaving a slight paper trail but enough for her smitten neighbour with his two best friends to embark on a search and return road trip, all in the name of love.
Adapted from the best seller by John Green, the excruciate author responsible for Fault in our Stars and the even more emotional Looking for Alaska (film version currently in production). Quentin (Nat Wolff) is shocked why the love of his life (not that she knew it) bangs on his window one night before a night of life changing proportions. Until now, their paths had intertwined without connection.
Margot (Victoria Secret model showing better than average acting poise) is impulsive, a free-spirited popular girl in the schoolyard but happiness avoids her on a regular basis while conforming to intricate teenage angst. The last night before her vanishing act is a time Quentin tags along, joins in on random revenge activities and unexpected frivolity. Quite frankly, it’s the best night of his life with the exception of the morning thinking it may have just been a dream.
Flat at times, sometimes it’s about the journey not the destination with life lessons dished out along the way, the basis of this integral adventure that shows only handfuls of diversity for a story about finding yourself. To appraise the much talked about ending is to experience it yourself, tears of joy and sadness will roll.
Major letdown is the indie soundtrack, barely a standout of significance to the scene in which they play. Look back at retro romances of the past for infinite examples.
Coming of age films are iconic for generations from The Graduate to The Breakfast Club to Reality Bites and so on, Paper Towns may seem paper thin compared to those classics but remains emotionally viable in the true love opposites attract teen affairs of the heart genre.
Be alert of a for a high decibel magnitude of sighs from an in the moment audience when Fault in our Stars nice guy Ansel Engort appears in a cameo.
Shane A. Bassett