Starring: Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Halston Sage, Austin Abrams, Justice Smith, Jaz Sinclair
Directed By: Jake Schreier
Based on the novel by John Green, who you might have heard wrote a little book called The Fault In Our Stars, which is a rather devastating novel about teens with cancer. Paper Towns is about a girl who is a sociopath and runs away from home. For whatever reason, people try to find her, and then she’s like “WAIT? YOU TRIED TO FIND ME? AS IF.”
Sorry, that was a bit spoilery, but before you get sucked into Paper Towns, I feel like you have the right to know. It’s mostly a harmless movie, and the core cast (minus Nat Wolff) are all at least some level of endearing. I enjoyed Nat more when he was with his friends than when he was trying to be some brooding leading male. He’s like a much less interesting version of John Cusack, but with less intelligence. I know that’s a little bit mean, but I feel like Wolff’s default stare is also a look of confusion, like he has no idea what’s going on around him. Maybe he has short term memory loss, wakes up, figures out that he’s shooting a movie, and we catch a few glimpses of that “where am I?” look. As a supporting character who is already borderline depressed, he worked well in TFIOS, but unless you give this kid a red bull, he doesn’t work as a leading man.
His supporting cast is all interesting enough to make up the screen time, for the most part. But then you get to the infuriating ending, where Lacey (Sage) turns to Q (Wolff) and says the one thing that we’ve been thinking all the time. Would she go to all this trouble for us? No. She wouldn’t. Because she’s a sociopath. Which is funny, because when her parents peg her as an attention whore earlier, Q’s narration is like “Parents of the Year, right?” But most common sense thinking adults go, no dude, she’s a sociopath. You’re wrong. Move on.
Which is even MORE infuriating, because earlier in the film, Q and Lacey have kind of this back and forth going, which could have easily turned into something so Q wasn’t left empty handed. Instead, his doofus best friend Ben (Abrams) gets Lacey, and Q is left with no one at the end. Because he fell in love with a crazy chick.
And these kids seem to have a lot of disposable income, without any of them mentioning even once that they have a job.
Like I said, a mostly harmless movie with a mostly entertaining cast, but a rather infuriating ending, and a dull leading man. There’s definitely a fault in these stars, and his name is Nat Wolff.
FINAL GRADE: B-