Movie “Paper Towns” Touches on Themes Important to Teens


On July 24, masses of people crowded into 3,031 theaters nationwide to see “Paper Towns” the movie adaption of the popular teen fiction book by John Green. Directed by Jake Schreier, the film portrays the characters, plot, and setting just as they were written in the book. The costumes were excellent, the soundtrack even better, and the constant humor throughout kept the audience engaged.

Quentin Jacobsen (Nat Wolff) is an average, though slightly nerdy, high school senior. After high school, he is slated to attend Duke University, wants to be a doctor, and wants to have kids by 30 and to lead out a nice, peaceful life. Fellow senior Margo Roth Spiegelman (Cara Delevingne), on the other hand, is the exact opposite and doesn’t seem to have a set path for her life. Since they were children, Margo’s mystery has intrigued Quentin and he does not hesitate to go looking for her when she leaves unexpectedly after a night of them righting-wrongs.

Along the way, Quentin skips school for the first time, goes to his first high school party, and learns that when you want something, it usually won’t be in your comfort zone. In an over-arching sense, the movie speaks toward broad themes that hit home for adolescents on the verge of adulthood. These themes include romance, fears associated with confronting an unknown future, and the always interesting process of figuring out exactly who you are.

Though the storyline of “Paper Towns” is captivating, I think the best part of this movie was the casting. Cara Delevingne was the perfect actress for the role of Margo. As a successful model, she is familiar with constant rumors about herself and the expectation for her to be as perfect as she looks. Part of the mystery of Margo was the fact that she didn’t show her emotions to anybody else, making this an easy first-major-role for Cara. As for Quentin, he needed to be someone familiar to the audience. Nat Wolff was also in “The Fault in Our Stars,” another one of John Green’s books-gone-movies, and the young actor fit the role of a nerd well.

Though it earned much less than projected in its opening weekend ($12.5 million instead of $20 million), I thought that Schreier did a phenomenal job. Most people usually are not pleased with books that have become movies. However, the only scenes left out of the film were those that did not change the plot. Paper Towns will not disappoint those who are looking for a good film to watch.