Paper Towns: Great on Paper, Good on Screen

Paper Towns

It was the moment John Green fans have anticipated for months. A movie adaptation of Green’s successful novel, Paper Towns, was just released, making it the second of Green’s novels to be adapted for film.

The first of Green’s novels to hit the big screen, The Fault in Our Stars, is unlike Paper Towns in almost every way. Though I won’t give away too much about the movie, I will say that unlike its predecessor, Paper Towns doesn’t require viewers to bring an entire box of tissues to the theater.

Directed by Jake Schreier, Paper Towns focuses on the careful and thoughtful Quentin Jacobsen, played by Nat Wolff, and his infatuation with his mysterious next door neighbor, Margo Roth Spiegelman, played by Cara Delevingne.

Quentin is mesmerized by Margo’s seemingly larger-than-life existence and desires a closer relationship with her. However, when Margo unexpectedly disappears, Quentin and his friends must go on a desperate mission to find her.

Though I understand the reasons behind some of the changes made, I am one of those people who hates it when the slightest difference occurs between a book and its movie adaptation, and quite a few changes were made in Paper Towns.

There were entire portions of the novel that were left out of the movie entirely, and other parts seemed to be changed for no reason. If certain parts of the book need to be changed to make the movie more cinematic, I understand that. However, when changes are made that make the movie’s storyline as interesting as or less interesting than the book’s storyline, I don’t see the point.

Nevertheless, if you haven’t read the book, you probably won’t have too many reasons to complain. I’ve heard from multiple sources that the movie is enjoyable for those with no knowledge of the book, and I can see how that would be true.

One praise I have for the movie, and for the book for that matter, is the intriguing storyline. I don’t usually consider myself a lover of mysteries, but Paper Towns has opened me up to that genre.

Even though I knew the ending of the movie before watching it, I was still engaged in the story and found the actors and actresses to be believable. Nat Wolff, who The Fault in Our Stars viewers will recognize from his role as Isaac in that film, performed well in the leading role of Paper Towns alongside Cara Delevingne, who embraced the complex role of Margo and successfully brought it to life.

All in all, even though the book version of Paper Towns was better than the movie version, the movie was still pretty good.

Holly’s rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars

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Holly Nelms studies Mass Communications at East Tennessee State University. She loves writing and hopes to become a journalist after graduation.

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