Monday, December 7, 2015

Paper Towns (2015)


So I want to be straight up and say that I both read and loved the Novel this film was based on. Though I have never read anything else John Green (aka the Author of The Fault in Our stars) has done, I saw the trailer to this film... then saw the book and thought - why the hell not.

This is the only book I have ever read in one sitting from cover to cover. Now, granted part of that was the simplicity of the book... the other thing though, was really how much I enjoyed the whole dang story.

Anyway... before I go too far... your story goes: A boy, Quentin (aka the teen movie guy du-jour Nat Wolff) grows up hopelessly in love with his neighbour Margo (played by the ridiculously well known and attractive model Cara Delevingne). After years of no contact with her she pulls him into a revenge plot against her cheating boyfriend. After a night of crazy adventure, Quentin thinks he will finally have the girl of his dreams... only she disappears... and he (along with a rag tag group of friends) will follow the breadcrumbs he left to try to find out what exactly happened to Margo.

Seriously, I am so screwing up this selfie thing
Here is the thing guys. I write. Novels. Scripts. I sure as Kaka aint made no millions... but I have had to transfer a short story to a script/screenplay format on several occasions... and I understand that changes have to made when transferring between mediums. I get that. I am ok with that. However the one thing I will never get with big studio films... is why they feel they almost without fail have to drastically alter the ending.

Why? I mean 5 million people bought this book. Then 5 Million people bought a ticket to see the film... does anyone... really... REALLY think those folks were like... Man I hope they change the ending so that it surprises me! No. Incorrect. Those people rolled in saying - Man I hope these hollywood A-holes didn't mess the damn story up. 

You know for the most part this is not only a very good movie... but also a pretty faithful adaptation of the source material. The acting is spot on with both leads being well supported by the youthful (and sweet hell teens that actually are teens, or well, close enough - awesome) cast. Cara D in her first real role on the big screen is pretty good here. The director does a solid job combining the mystery of the film with the teen coming of age type thing... and the screen writers do a great job condensing the story while maintaining all the key points...

Noooo.... you smell my finger....
Though in the Novel the journey to find margo takes months and here it is a matter of a week? Two weeks? Something like that. I think they could have added a few minutes of time lapse, and the exhaustive search Quentin goes on in the book... but all good. I get it, and enough of the story makes it through to endear the audience to the characters... even those not familiar with the book.

It is simply put... a charming Teen flick, with perhaps a little more heart than most. You know where in chasing the girl he wants, are would be hero learns more about himself and the world in which he inhabits... that kinda thing.

However, I have to say this. They altered the ending. And in fact brutally crush the hope with which the book ended.

Has anyone read Dickens? Ha. Sigh. It's prob just me. Well my fav book by the classic Author is Great Expectations. The ending to that book is book painful and yet has this slimmer... this shining crack of beautiful and possible hope. Paper Towns the Novel ended much the same. Sad. And with heart pains, but with the teasing shimmer of hope.

In a movie like this... a whimsical tale of self discovery and first love... ending the film as they did here, absent satisfying conclusion was the wrong call. I have understood the pangs of teen love... especially first love... the ending simply cannot work here. The book's ending... had many of the same pieces... yet as I said... That shimmer of hope... that no matter how twisted and foolish love might be... no matter how blinding... in the end sometimes the heart... might just win.

Sadly without that narrative for the end... perhaps thinking the audience would not get it... ignoring the fact 50-75% of their audience would more than likely be people that read the Novel or wiki'd it before the movie ... haha... that happens... they have essentially made this only a teen buddy flick... and with the movie and story built around the search for Margo... their simply is not enough there to hang the end of this movie on.

Still, to anyone unfamiliar with the book. There is certainly worse ways to spend an hour and 46 minutes of your life... watching Rosewood for example (seriously was that not the worst pilot that has ever made it to a season premier - dang). And the fun is inherent in the movie you will smile a few times, and enjoy curling next to your loved one.

Its a quick fun trip, with a lacklustre pay off... but fun. More than a match for any of the would be teen cry yourself to sleep in a pillow type flicks we have been getting lately haha. No seriously. What the hell.

Movie scale 2.5 out of 5 stars
Teen drama scale 3 out of 5 stars.


Till Next Booniacs.



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