Paper Towns Movie Review and 5 Life Lessons I learned from It

After a satisfying watch and read of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, I was really looking forward to watching Paper Towns.  Written by the same team Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, I knew the film is in good hands. 

So here's my movie review of Paper Town after watching it on the Premier Screening at Glorietta 4.
paper town movie
Given then they had to  squeeze the 305 pages of the novel to a 106-minute movie, I knew that it the movie would loose some of the essence of the movie.  Admittedly, it really lost the emotional depth of the book.  But, it wasn't far.

paper town movie
Each cast had enough screen time to build and depict the same portrayal as the book. 
paper town movie
Some of the lines in the book like the following where used in the movie too:
  • “The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle. Like, I will probably never be struck by lightening, or win a Nobel Prize, or become the dictator of a small nation in the Pacific Islands, or contract terminal ear cancer, or spontaneously combust. But if you consider all the unlikely things together, at least one of them will probably happen to each of us. I could have seen it rain frogs. I could have stepped foot on Mars. I could have been eaten by a whale. I could have married the Queen of England or survived months at sea. But my miracle was different. My miracle was this: out of all the houses in all the subdivisions in all of Florida, I ended up living next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman.” 
  • “Maybe all the strings inside him broke.” 
  • “Margo always loved mysteries. And in everything that came afterward, I could never stop thinking that maybe she loved mysteries so much that she became one.” 
  • “My heart is really pounding," I said.
    "That's how you know you're having fun," Margo said.” 
  • “It's a penis," Margo said, "in the same sense that Rhode Island is a state: it may have an illustrious history, but it sure isn't big.” 
  • "I've lived here for 18 years and I have never once in my life come across anyone who cares about anything that matters."
  • “You know your problem, Quentin? You keep expecting people not to be themselves."
  • "It is so hard to leave until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world."
    "You will go to the paper towns and you will never come back."
  • "I can feel the pee all the way up to my ribcage. I am honestly full of pee. Bro, right now, seventy percent of my body weight is pee."
  • "As long as we don't die, this is gonna be one hell of a story."
  • “A paper town for a paper girl.” 
  • "The fundamental mistake I had always made—and that she had, in fairness, always led me to make—was this: Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl.”
The movie was really intended to be light, fun and entertaining instead of being dramatic and causing heavy heart like The Fault in Our Stars.   But, it was still emotionally stiring.  I heard laughs during funny scenes as well as "awws" when sweet lines where said across the theater.  I bet the crowd were also silently cheering for the romantic Quentin as he held on to his stubbornness or blind faith in search of Margo.

There was not so much chemistry as to the main casts Quentin "Q" Jacobsen (played by Nat Wolff) and Margo Roth Spiegelman (played by Cara Delevingn).  But, I think it was really intended for them not to have so so the ending will be lighter for the audience.  I made that assumption since complimentary to the lack of chemistry, I also noticed that Margo was made to be more likeable in the movie.  Thus, audience felt better with the ending.  (It could be happy or sad depending on the audience and it was happy for me)

If there's one thing I really appreciate with the movie is the humor.  Most of them were really unexpected too.  There's even a cameo by Ansel Elgort (who starred as Augustus Waters in The Fault in Our Stars) that surprised and made the audience all giddy.  I also felt that the Austin Abrams as Ben Starling brought some scenes to life.

The soundtrack songs were pretty good.  I liked that they introduced non-mainstream songs.  But, I also felt that on some scenes, the instrumental scores failed to draw the sufficient feelings and impact.

I liked the ending, it was open-ended but with some sort of closure just like the book.

paper town movie
Although the novel and film is targeted for teenager or those coming-of-age, I feel that the lesson or message are applicable to adults to so families can actually watch it together.

The Lessons or Message I was able to draw from the movie:
1. People change, we grow apart but we can always keep our memories. 

2. Sometimes, we fall in love with our imagination especially when we're young and our fantasies and romanticism runs wild.

3.  Sometimes, we need to take courage, choose our separate ways to find our true or real selves.
  • For Margo, she has always felt that she didn't belong so she left to find herself. She seems lost that it was easily understandable for Quentin that he needed to let her go.
  • For Quentin, his acts of going out of his comfort zone only confirmed that he really wanted to fulfill his goals.
  • Quentin, Ben, Radar, Lacey and Angela were out to find Margo, instead they found and discovered more about themselves.
4. The stereotype that being pretty and popular is everything isn't true.
  • Margo and Lacey Pemberton belonged to that category and yet, they were unhappy. 
5. True friendship is awesome.
  • The three unpopular kids Quentin, Ben and Marcus a.k.a. Radar had a great friendship that made them really happy.  Even though they did lame things during their high school years, it was cool because they did them together.
Overall,  I highly recommend this movie.  Whether it's just light entertainment you're looking for or a certain degree of emotional stir, I think this is certainly worth your while.  And even though it's fun and light, it still has a lesson or message to instill in us.

Watch Paper Town Movie