PAPER TOWNS is the adaptation of best-selling young adult author John Green's third novel, a coming-of-age story that follows Quentin "Q" Jacobsen (Nat Wolff), a Duke-bound high school senior who plays by the rules but has a decade-long secret crush on his beautiful, popular, energetic neighbor, Margo Roth Spiegelman (Cara Delevigne). When Margo shows up in Q's room one night and asks him to accompany her on a late-night revenge mission against her cheating boyfriend and lying best friends, he tentatively agrees -- and finds himself caught up in Margo's alluring persona. But the next day she's not at school, and after a few days, it's clear she's missing or has run away. One day Q finds a clue left by Margo that leads him to another clue he believes will lead him to her. Asking for help from his best friends, Radar (Justice Smith) and Ben (Austin Abrams); Radar's girlfriend, Angela (Jaz Sinclair); and Margo's best friend, Lacey (Halston Sage), Q sets out on road trip to a "paper town" in upstate New York, where all signs point to Margo.
Although Paper Towns doesn’t require the amount of emotional investment as The Fault in Our Stars, it’s well-acted, humor-filled coming-of-age story about how the girl one guy is searching for is more of an idea than an actual person. The movie, just like the book on which it's based, makes it clear that Q's quest for the mythical adventurer Margo Roth Spiegelman isn't so much about her as it is about him.
It's the supporting young actors -- and their chemistry with Wolff's Q -- that make Paper Towns more about friendship than love. As the son of the world's biggest collectors of Black Santas, Radar is an understated source of hilarity. And as the class-clown best friend with imaginary girlfriends, Ben is also hilarious. All three actors genuinely look like regular, nerdy teens -- a big plus when watching a teen film. There are some obvious deviations from Green's book, but they're mostly for the sake of moving the story forward.
5/5. A great teen movie that isn't the usual sex, drugs and alcohol crap that most teen movies are these days.