Movie Reviews

Where the Paper Streets Have no Name (Paper Towns Review)

Quentin (Nat Wolff) is a young and shy high school senior about to graduate. He has always played it safe and lives his life within a narrow comfort zone. Within a few weeks of graduation, he is in for a night of his life when Margo (Cara Delevingne), the most popular student at his high school and a girl he has known since childhood, enlists him to help her play pranks on some of her friends that have wronged her. The next day, she suddenly is missing. With the help of his two best friends Ben (Austin Abrams) and Radar (Justice Smith) and others, they try to decipher clues that she left behind, Quentin goes on a mission to find the girl who he has now fallen in love with and made him feel alive.

There have been a lot of coming of age stories in film. Most have seen at least one in their lifetime. This one is no different. Where they could have taken the predictable route, it is still predictable but it goes about its process in a smart and real way. The trailer may have created the impression that this film is a love story but that is just secondary (or maybe even tertiary) to Quentin’s quest to find himself. While certain elements in the film have been done to death in other films, the acting and the dialogue made up for some of this with Quentin’s friends having depth and great personal moments. The best part of the film has to be the road trip sequence with Quentin and his friends as it serves as a journey of self exploration for all off the main characters and provides a good amount of comedic moments. Nat Wolff’s Quentin sold me with his real, funny, and honest performance. Despite their limited screen time, what I did not like as much was the chemistry between Quentin and Margo. It may just be me but I didn’t believe it. However, what kept me entertained was the chemistry between Quentin and his friends. I could believe that because it reminded me of myself and my friends. Only real friends sing the Pokemon theme together. Back to what I didn’t like. I wish we could have spent more time with Margo at the beginning as it could have helped with the chemistry problems I mentioned earlier and added a little more weight to Quentin’s road trip. Also, the movie’s ending leaves a little to be desired as it feels rushed. Despite its shortcomings, I was thoroughly entertained by this film. You can’t help but to fall in love with its charm and what doesn’t hurt is that it looks and sounds good as well thanks to a good soundtrack. I never read this book or any of John Green’s books or seen The Fault in our Stars but this film has gained my interest.

Score: 8/10

If you liked this, please read my other reviews here.

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