Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippet – Paper Towns

paper towns

Paper Towns ran me through the gamut of my emotions and overall, I would say it was good. How good, though, is the real question that I wrestled with for a while after the movie. One of the things I really liked was the theme of layered people and how people were having to struggle with other people’s perceptions of them. It’s brought up almost verbatim by one of the characters and then explored more subtly throughout. Another high point was the message about living out of your comfort zone once in a while, which also extends to have the same moral that The Cat in The Hat had, that a little bit of rule-breaking is okay once in a while. It’s not often that a story brings this message across and it can be tricky to handle, but I think this movie handled it well.

Where it falls flat is the female lead that the plot revolves around. I’m going to be upfront about it: Margo Roth Spiegelman is petty, destructive, and far too pretentious for her own good. Even at the beginning I never understood why Quentin was so into her. I know the entire point of the movie is that someone isn’t always what they seem, but if I can’t connect with why the main character finds her desirable, how can I relate to his quest to find her? On another note, Quentin’s friend Brian also grated on me, essentially feeling like a one-note character until he suddenly matured. His lust for Quentin’s mom was brought up so constantly, it felt like he heard the song “Stacey’s Mom” in his youth and formed an entire religion around it.

To be perfectly honest, I found the bonding between the friends and the trip they took together to find Margo more compelling than Margo herself. A lot of the situations, while implausible, are the same sort of stuff that I fantasized about doing in my high school youth: forging lasting bonds with friends while solving a mystery and getting into antics. This film is ultimately a wish fulfillment for people coming of age and graduating, just how Transformers is for young boys and The Princess Diaries is for young girls. It may not be as good as The Fault In Our Stars, but I imagine that this will last as a cult classic among graduating high school students for a long time.

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