After the best night of his life, Quentin ‘Q’ Jacobsen and his friends embark upon an epic road-trip to find Margo Roth Spiegelman, the enigmatic and mythical girl who had made it all happen.
Following the commercial and critical success of 'The Fault in Our Stars', writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber return for a second bite of the cherry. The cherry that is bringing to life the works of Youtube celebrity and best-selling novelist, John Green. Whilst 'Paper Towns' may for many lack the subject weight and emotional gut-punches of their 2014 predecessor, the results are just as satisfyingly sweet.
How faithful the writing is to the hugely-popular source material is for more knowledgeable minds to discuss and debate, but, whatever the case, it positively sizzles on-screen. The dialogue is sharp and witty - with an almost perfect balance of humour, insight, and emotional complexity – and the pop culture references come frequently, landing more often than not. One in particular, featuring a surprising cameo, will no doubt strike a specific chord and prompt smiles and squeals in equal measure.
Along for the ride are Quentin’s best friends, Radar (Justice Smith) and the aptly initialled Ben Starling (Austin Abrams), as well as Margo’s one-time best friend, Lacey (Halston Sage). It is with this trio of supporting characters that 'Paper Towns' truly soars and the core message most resonates. Equal parts hilarious and heartfelt, be they discussing and experiencing their first tuba-free party or navigating ever-shifting relationship dynamics, it’s not hard to imagine that, in another movie, these characters could easily have been the central focus. All three of the actors carry the weight on their shoulders with expert grace well beyond their years. So much depth and pathos do they add, that the trend of supporting characters out-shining the leads continues unimpeded in modern film. If John Green was to develop a spin-off novel following any of these characters, there would assuredly be no complaints.
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