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At the movies: Paper Towns

September 8, 2015
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Paper Towns movie

Quentin and Margo were friends in elementary school but went their separate ways as they got older.  Margo is too cool for the nerdy Quentin until she needs his help to exact revenge on some friends she thinks have wronged her.  When she turns up missing the next day, Quentin follows a series of clues he thinks she’s left behind for him.  He’s certain he knows where she is and enlists his friends to go with him to find her.

Seeing Paper Towns made me feel old.  I thought the acting was fine but didn’t care for Margo and couldn’t understand Quentin’s fascination with her.  Margo pictured herself an intellectual who was smarter than everyone else so she was overly serious and self absorbed.  Quentin was a great kid who never got over his feelings for her so he allowed her to use him.

The story line was okay but I mostly found the movie irritating.  The journey Quentin and his friends take is eye-opening and fun but it wasn’t enough to save the movie for me.  I haven’t read the book by John Green (but still plan to) so I don’t know how the two compare.   I think Paper Towns will appeal to teens far more than it did to me.

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26 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2015 7:40 am

    I saw the trailer in the theater a few months ago and knew I was not the intended audience.

  2. Patty permalink
    September 8, 2015 7:57 am

    I usually avoid this kind of movie. I only like dystopian teen movies with dragons and werewolves…

  3. September 8, 2015 8:26 am

    I didn’t see the movie but I felt the same way about the book!!!

  4. September 8, 2015 10:23 am

    I haven’t read the book and probably won’t and thought the movie was okay, not great. Margo was pretty irritating!

  5. September 8, 2015 11:14 am

    I have the book, but haven’t read it yet. I don’t really enjoy most teen books and movies…I did like The Fault Is in Our Stars, by this author, and also enjoyed the movie. Mostly because of the actors in that movie.

    I will probably skip this one. Thanks for sharing.

  6. September 8, 2015 12:01 pm

    My granddaughter really wants to see this movie but I”m not sure I do. Sorry it wasn’t a good fit for you.

  7. September 8, 2015 1:07 pm

    Glad I skipped this one when it was here.

  8. September 8, 2015 2:34 pm

    Your reaction mirrors mine whenever I read any YA book or watch a YA movie. I cringe at half the scenes then wonder why anyone liked it. I’m old as well.

  9. The Cue Card permalink
    September 8, 2015 3:12 pm

    Yeah I’m not good either with the teenage movies so I don’t go to them. I hope to still read the John Green novel.

  10. September 8, 2015 3:24 pm

    I haven’t read the book or seen the movie. Sounds like this was a miss for you.

  11. September 8, 2015 4:05 pm

    One day….

  12. Literary Feline permalink
    September 8, 2015 6:36 pm

    I haven’t read the book or seen the movie. I’m not sure yet if I want to read the book. I do enjoy John Greens’ writing, but this particular book hasn’t called out my name.

  13. September 8, 2015 8:48 pm

    Hmm, wonder if I will be able to relate to the book….

  14. September 8, 2015 11:51 pm

    I like my movies the way I like my books – with a very very large dash of mystery or fantasy in them! So this one hasn’t really been on my radar.

  15. September 9, 2015 1:41 am

    I appreciate your honest review of this movie. I probably won’t rush out to see it.

  16. September 9, 2015 3:58 am

    I liked the book and I want to see the movie; this being said, comparing this book to TFIOS or Looking for Alaska, it does feel younger and more “teenagerish”. Thanks to your review I’ll know to expect something similar with the movie!

  17. Beth F permalink
    September 9, 2015 6:19 am

    Ugh. The trailer looks so good I’m disappointed that the movie wasn’t better. I’ll watch it when it becomes available for streaming or shows up on HBO or SHO.

  18. September 9, 2015 8:44 am

    I went to the special screening with my daughter and we were a bit disappointed. I don’t think the young woman playing Margo had the acting chops to carry this character off, and the adaptation changed the plot in some key ways that were disappointing. I did love the guys playing Q’s sidekicks, though.
    I would highly recommend An Abundance of Katherines if you want to try another John Green title – it is my favorite after TFIOS – and was more appealing to me as an adult than this one. Although I’d still recommend the book Paper Towns over the movie.

  19. September 9, 2015 9:49 am

    I hope to read the book someday. I’m sure I won’t get to it by the time this movie leaves theaters. Sounds like I won’t be missing much.

  20. September 9, 2015 12:36 pm

    I’m going to dare to dissent here. I took my teens after all of us read the book. We thought the movie was a good adaptation and were glad Mr. Green’s wit translated well to the film version. Both the book and the movie explore a theme very relevant to teens, especially in this era of social media (although Green wrote Paper Towns before the rise of Instagram): the difference between who you present to the world and who you really are. The movie did a great job of highlighting a variant of this theme: accepting people for who they are. I’d encourage you to read the book – it’s a bit slow in the middle, but thoughtful.

  21. bookingmama permalink
    September 9, 2015 3:38 pm

    Sounds like Booking Daughter might like this one more than you!

  22. September 9, 2015 9:07 pm

    LOL! That’s exactly how I felt about the book and why I probably won’t see the movie.

  23. September 10, 2015 1:22 am

    very glad to have read this review because I might think twice about seeing it now. Read the book first me thinks

  24. September 10, 2015 7:03 am

    My granddaughter read the book and we saw the movie while she was visiting this summer. She really enjoyed it, but thought the book was much better. Now that I’ve seen the movie, I doubt I’ll read the book.

  25. September 10, 2015 7:44 am

    I’ve heard so many teens talking about this movie, but I may be a little old for it.

  26. September 10, 2015 1:17 pm

    Your review here is basically why I shy away from YA. I often find the characters so annoying! I did enjoy this one…I listened to it…but I don’t have a strong desire to see the movie. And I believe that Margo was every bit as self-absorbed in the book too…so…

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