Coming of age. Coming of age films are a dime-a-dozen, with John Hughes and Steven Spielberg perhaps being the reigning champs of this particular genre. Of course, after the enormous success of The Fault in Our Stars (another John Green adaptation) it was about time for another one. Paper Towns is a strange choice for this next adaption, as the overarching message in the film is not something that the general audience came to see- and ultimately the bittersweet ending comes off as way more mature than the filmmakers might have even intended.
Concrete characters. From Wolff to Delavigne, the acting is really well done and the chemistry is perfect- particularly the two best friends of the film, their relationship is moving, believable and honestly without that, the conclusion of the film wouldn’t have been as impactful as it ended up being. Delavigne, being a former model, is seemingly off to a good start. You never question why Nat Wolff’s character is smitten with her and some of the lines that could have been painfully delivered, is given just the right amount of confidence from Delavigne to make it work.
One big score. More than likely, the biggest thing that’s going to get overlooked is the score. The soundtrack itself is halfway decent- giving us some fun older folk music intertwined with the usual indie rock tracks that plague most of these romantic teen comedies. The score however, is different than what we normally see. It’s subtle, classically composed and works wonderfully during scenes when characters are riding their bikes across the Orlando suburbs. Sometimes it even evokes the classic 1980’s movies that the film is obviously trying to pay homage to.
The fault in our town. The film itself is ridiculous and unrealistic- but you could even argue that’s really the point. The journey to find his “dream girl” is almost dreamlike is stature and the ending to this story could even be construed as open-ended anyways- but the film doesn’t really focus in on that, it focuses more on the comedy and moves itself along pretty swiftly without really stopping to think about the heavier themes at work here.