Rated: PG-13 for some language, drinking, sexuality and partial nudity- all involving teens. Reviewed by: Frank Release date: July 24, 2015 Released by: Twentieth Century Fox
Margo (Cara Delevingne) is a high school senior who believes her life as a popular kid on campus is like a Paper Town, which is defines as a town on a map which in reality has no population and does not exits as a true town.
Margo is the catalyst for all the other characters in the story. She has been an on again off again fried of Quentin (Nat Wolff) since childhood. They rode bikes together as kids and traveled their neighborhood together. In high school he was in the nerd category and she was the most popular girl, probably to be the prom queen. But one evening she climbs to Quentin's bedroom window and requests his help for an adventure which she considers a leveling factor for some of her fellow students.
The two travel the night, carrying out her revenge tactics which include, wrapping a car in saran-wrap, calling a father to notify him that his daughter is having sex in the basement of the house, as the kid runs out of the house naked she takes pictures with her cell phone. She has also placed a wheel lock on his car so he can't drive away. in each case she marks the event with a large "M." She removes eye lash from one guy while he is asleep, drops a dead fish at one home and uses a loud horn to disrupt another. The adventure is enjoyable to watch partly because the use of the tools she has gathered is not clear until put in place.
Quentin wakes the next day expecting the two to remain close, but Margo has disappeared. Quentin then begins to follow clues staged by Margo which are expected to lead to Margo's location. A message on the hinge of his door and a hidden map at an abandoned building lead him and a group of friends to determine that Margo has moved to upper New York state in a paper town. The road trip from Orlando to Catskills with four other friends: Ben (Austin Abrams), Radar (Justice Smith) Lacey (Halston Sage) and Angela (Jaz Sinclair).
Margo who does not appear that often in the film drive the action for the other characters. Her parents accept the fact that she is off on her own, she is head strong and competent and they don't appear to be concerned. It's Quentin concern that gets him behind the wheel and driving north. All five kids head out with out apparent parental approval, which is a stretch, but without it the script doesn't work.
Paper Towns works better than most coming of age films. There is talk of sex and there is some in the story, but this one brings each of the characters to a new level of understanding that the world of high school is over and they are moving in another direction. It doesn't easily end either, a scene with Quentin and Margo embracing at the end doesn't exits. A look at love, sex and friendship all on equal levels permeates the climax of the film.
There is a prom scene at the end, but don't expect everyone to be dancing in their finest and with the love of their life. This ending is a little more real and therefore more enjoyable.