I just saw the movie “Paper Towns.” You know, the one based on John Green’s book? I wrote a review of the book here. Watching the movie, I had several different things I wanted to say about this book and movie adaptation. Since the time I read the book, I have read several different books and have done stuff since then. So I definitely have some things I would like to add to that review.
I have to say that the movie definitely portrayed what I thought the book was all about. MYSTERY! I thought the book was all about the mystery of Margo and who she is. I remember saying that I did not like the character development. Well, that was also VERY clear in the movie. Although Quentin did change somewhat over the course of the movie, I was very disappointed with him. He was still that very boring person I hated in the beginning of chapter one.
I saw this movie with my mom and let me just tell you this. She tends to talk sometimes during the movie. One thing she said was how she didn’t like these stories with these spoiled rich kids. I do agree with her in this matter. I mean, some kids couldn’t even afford to run away. They dream of making more money and then running away. With Margo, she was just able to run away, without a plan. I mean, she totally said at the end of the movie that she wasn’t going to go get a job and live the boring paper life. So what was she going to do? Live off her parents’ money and then maybe go rob a bank? (Wouldn’t be it past her either.)
This movie was kind of boring and left me wanting more. I didn’t think it was a good book in the first place. If they were going to do a John Green movie adaptation, why couldn’t it have been “Looking For Alaska”???!!! I liked the changes that they did make, with one exception. I was kind of sad that the group didn’t get to meet Margo at the end. I mean, we could have had Margo’s friend really hashing it out with Margo. Margo did send them on a wild goose chase. Even though she didn’t really mean it, I think it was still kind of messed up of her that she chose to be this mystery, instead of being something substantial.
As for the actors portraying the characters, I have to say that they did an amazing job portraying this boring story. I loved how the disappearance of Margo led these kids to befriend each other. Margo may have been very elusive and mysterious, but her actions sparked life into the people she knew. Maybe some people need a Margo in their life to get that spark growing.
This book/movie had so much promise of greatness, but it failed to deliver. I love coming of age stories, but this was the worst example. It did have that symbol of Margo, of mystery, but everything else about it felt only half assed. I’m not going to say that you shouldn’t watch the movie. I’m just going to say that maybe you should wait for it to come out on DVD. It’s not worth the $12 or however much you pay to get into the movie theater.
I will give this movie 4/5 stars, since it did overpower the book a little bit.
I also want to add the fact that I did love the concept of “Paper Towns.” When Margo was talking about their town being paper and how she felt like there was no one interesting in it really hit me. And then when she says that she might be a paper girl as well, I thought that was kind of profound. Everyone is beautiful on paper, but we are so much more than what it says about us. There is depth and duplicity. I felt like that line from Doctor Who:
“You know when, sometimes you meet someone so beautiful, and then you actually talk to them and five minutes later, they’re as dull as a brick? Then there’s other people, and you meet them and you think, ‘Not bad; they’re okay.’ And then you get to know them, and their face sort of becomes them, like their personality is written all over it. And they just turn into something so beautiful. Rory’s the most beautiful man I’ve ever met.” – Amelia Pond
They didn’t bring up the fact that Quentin wanted to save Margo. He thought she was going to commit suicide. They never brought that into the story. I kind of understand maybe that it would have been too much for the movie, but I think they overlooked the importance of that. It wasn’t just a lovers quest that Quentin was on. He really did think that Margo was going to kill herself. And the scene when he waited to talk to the teacher. I thought he was going to ask about the “Leaves of Grass” book. It didn’t seem that big of a scene to me.
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