Let’s Talk Movies: Paper Towns

Posted July 30, 2015 by Carlisa in Let's Talk, Let's Talk Movies / 4 Comments

let's talk movies

Okay, let’s talk about this movie. I read the book awhile ago…let me check. (Do-re-mi *waving my magic Goodreads wand*) May 2014. Okay, so it wasn’t that long ago. But, alas, it was before my book blogging days where once I was finished with a book, I didn’t do much processing afterwards. So I don’t remember forming a really secure “this is my opinion and I’m sticking to it” opinion. I remember liking it but it not being the best thing that ever happened. I’m a big TFIOS fan, but this one…didn’t really do much for me. I think I wanted to like it because I knew it was popular and my second John Green book and I knew that a movie in the works. So, yeah. The book for me was “meh.”

Being honest, the movie for me was “meh,” too. If you really loved the book, though, I think you’d really love the movie. Because they were true-blue to the book. Almost exactly–from what I can remember. So, yes. Book-lovers = Movie-lovers. Book-“Meh”ers = Movies-“Meh”ers. And Books-dislikers (or even haters *gasp*) = Movie-dislikers. I’m pretty sure that’s how it would go. So let’s talk about it.


Okay. Let’s talk about Margo. The main character. It’s interesting that she is the main character because she’s really only in the beginning and the end-ish of the movie. And you know what they say, life has a beginning, an ending, and a whole bunch of middle. And that middle doesn’t actually have Margo Roth Speigelman in its scenes. Despite that, she’s everywhere. Because Quentin (Q) is obsessed with her. Like drive-1200-miles-to-find-her obsessed. Because she’s mysterious and beautiful and does things out of Q’s comfort zone. So he thinks he’s in love with her. And whenever he said that, I just wanted to slap him. Look, dude. You’re not in love with her. You’re in love with the adrenaline of the crazy/stupid things you did with her. You’re in love with the appeal of her. The idea. And that’s kind of the point, I guess. But I don’t know. He for sure thought he was in love…and I don’t think he ever realized otherwise.

paper town

But anyways, back to Margo. She’s just pretty messed up, you know? Like some therapy would probably have done her good. Especially after Margo and Q find the body of a dead man who shot himself out by a tree. When they were like ten years old. And it didn’t really bother Quentin that much, but it stuck with Margo. She would keep talking about it and this man’s broken dreams that were no more. Don’t you think if you were her parents, you’d be a little worried? Even if she wasn’t talking about it to them, your child found a dead body, killed by his own hand. Something needs to happen or you’re going to end up with someone like present 18-year-old Margo. A lost girl who everyone thinks is found. Also she speaks way too metaphorically for an 18-year-old. She did read Walt Whitman, but still. Come on. Everyone else was making hot-mom jokes and she’s standing there saying things like “It’s a paper town, filled with paper people.” I think it’d be awesome if people spoke like that…but they just don’t. At least not that I’ve seen.

But she also kind of seems like a hypocrite to me. Like she tells Quentin he basically has the comfort zone of a tomato and that he needs to live outside of that zone. He needs to be feeling adrenaline and feeling his heart beating every moment of his life. Like she tells him that. And then she hops on a bus and goes to a little practically-not-there town in upstate New York. Where there is no adrenaline to be found, no hearts beating fast. Just her. And you might say that, you know, she left. She didn’t like herself in Orlando so she left. But leaving wasn’t leaving her comfort zone. Leaving is what she knew. She was constantly running around and that’s what she was comfortable with. And I think this Agloe, New York was just another way of doing that. Sure, she might be trying to find herself in this little paper town…but she would eventually get bored and then just leave there, as well. I’m glad at the end, though, she acknowledges that she’s just as “paper” as anyone else. And that’s why’s she’s lost? I don’t know. I’m glad at the end, though, she acknowledges that she’s just as “paper” as anyone else. And that’s why’s she’s lost? I don’t know.

Oh, and also. I didn’t like that she kind of shamed Quentin about how he wanted to go to college and med school and to have a family. She acted like that wasn’t okay. And that bothered me.

So I don’t really like Margo as a character. She’s kind of a jerk-wad to everyone around her. She drags them into her mystery, knowing that they’ll follow her, knowing that they’ll take her clues and come…but she doesn’t really care for them. She ultimately invites Q to leave and stay with her…but what about everyone else? Her best friend since she was five years old? Her parents? They acknowledged that she talks to her younger sister, which is good. But what kind of example are you setting up for her, Margo? Literally to run away from all of your problems. Okay, ranting. So Margo I don’t like, but I actually think Cara Delevingne did a really good job as the actress.

Side note: Cara is British and I’m always so impressed when British people can fake American accents. Like I know Americans fake British accents all the time, but I’m pretty sure I sound awful when I try, lol. Okay, moving on.

When I was reading the book, I never really got the reference to Ahab from Moby Dick. I mean, I’ve never read Moby Dick (that book is a monster…or a whale *ba dum tsss*), but I know it’s premise. Ahab is on this quest to find the whale, and the quest kind of drives him mad…but he has to do it. It becomes a need for him. And basically Ahab = Quentin. Like I said, Quentin becomes obsessed with the idea of Margo, and he chases her until he finds her, letting nothing get in his way. And he gets pretty stupid about it. Like letting your friends and your mom’s minivan drive away when you’re stranded in a non-existent town 1,200 miles away. Just to find this girl. So, yes, I did appreciate this reference and I’m glad I understood it in the movie.


The best scene in the entire movie was when Quentin and his two best friends starting singing the Pokemon theme song together (trying not to be scared in an abandoned store). Seriously, it was awesome and hilarious. These friends had a chemistry that wasn’t present around the other actors. They teased each other and laughed with each other, and it was just obvious that they loved each other. This was my favorite scene, hands down. And I tried to YouTube it to see if the clip was there but, alas, no. There was, however, a pretty good clip of all the stars talking about their spirit Pokemon, so click here, if you dare. But let me warn you…Ben, the initiator of the Pokemon rock-out, is played by someone who could only name Pikachu. He couldn’t think of any others. *Shaking my head.* [Sidenote: My favorite Pokemon when I was little was Jigglypuff…and once my high school chemistry teaching called me a Pollywag (in the middle of his lecture. It was weird)…but I think my spirit Pokemon would be Squirtle or Eevee.]

Speaking of this, Nat Wolff (the actor who plays Quentin) bothered me. I liked him as the blind guy in TFIOS (is it awful that I don’t remember his name and I know him as the blind guy?), but he just didn’t seem like a very good actor in this movie. Like I said, when he was around his two best friends, that’s when I liked him. Because it seemed easy and right and fun. And they had chemistry. But when he was around Margo, even when he was supposed to be confident and proclaiming-his-love, he seemed awkward and unexpressive in the face. I wanted to see him let loose and be fun around Margo. But that didn’t happen. Also all I could think about was Naked Brothers Band from Nickelodeon years ago. Please tell me someone else remembers this, too.




Also there’s an Ansel Elgort (Gus from TFIOS) makes a cameo that’s equally hilarious and awkward, so there’s that.

Oh man, I just realized I already have 1,500 words on here. Why is it so easy to write 1,500 words here when it’s so hard on an essay. *Sigh* Anyways, the movie was alright. The story just doesn’t blow me away, in either the book or the movie. But the page-to-screen adaptation was well-done, I think. I really liked some of the character’s acting while others I did not. Some funny, endearing moments…Others pretty gross (like pee in the face gross). But, yeah. I don’t really have much else to say about it.

Have you seen the movie yet? Have you read the book? Tell me your thoughts!


    • Hahahahaha YES! I’m glad I’m not the only one who remembers that show!

  • I watched Paper Towns a few days ago, and I wasn’t too impressed. I have yet to read the book, though, so I’m not sure how the two compare. And YES!! The Pokemon scene had me cracking up in the theater, haha! I’m laughing thinking about it even now.

    • The book and the movie are VERY similar, from what I remember. They don’t really deviate at all.

      And, yes. The Pokemon scene. I tried to find it on Youtube to see it again but I don’t think it’s up yet. *tear*

      ALSO CONGRATS ON YOUR NEW CO-BLOGGERSHIP. That’s seriously so awesome.