Movie Date: Paper Towns
A Mars vs Venus take on the week's hottest flick
STARRING: Cara Delevingne, Nat Wolff, Austin Abrams, Justice Smith, Halston Sage
DIRECTOR: Jake Schreier
THE SKINNY: Adapted from John Green’s best-selling young adult novel, Quentin’s (Wolff) infatuation with his beautiful and enigmatic neighbour Margo (Delevingne) spurs him to go on a cross-country road trip in search of her when she mysteriously disappears one day.
As a girl-worshipping guy, I have a soft spot for these sorts of movies.
I strongly identify with the way our hero Quentin romanticises Margo.
She's not just a crush; she's the embodiment of all the glorious and terrifying mysteries of the universe.
Beyond that, I even sort of looked like Wolff when I was a younger man and had a similar sort of diffident demeanour.
I relate to Paper Towns on a personal level.
You might not, though.
Paper Towns has a good heart, but it's also rather modest and old-fashioned.
It has an 80s vibe, but at the same time, it's not even as daring as a lot of those films. You could perhaps compare it to Say Anything, but there's nothing approaching that famous boom box scene.
That said, the cast is uniformly charming.
Quentin's buddies (Abrams and Smith) are sweet and fresh-faced, a nice change from your typical douchey besties.
What everyone really wants to know, though, is how's Delevingne?
Well, I'm sad to say that she's a natural.
I know it would be fun to see the British supermodel-turned-actress fall on her face, but she's really just flat-out charismatic.
Her face isn't just improbably beautiful but incredibly expressive. She's vivid and bold and fun.
Yeah, for sure I can relate to Wolff.
I would follow this chick like a puppy through the gates of puppy hell.
- JASON JOHNSON
Yes, it's true. Delevinge is a credible actress after all.
We have, of late, seen many models cross over to the big screen, like Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Emily Ratajkowski and Suki Waterhouse.
While each has impressed, none possesses that charisma, spunk and magnetism that Delevingne displays in her first lead role.
The character of Margo - popular, beautiful, misunderstood - is pretty much a description of Delevingne herself, as she has said, and so it plays to her strengths. You can feel Paper Towns lose energy once she leaves the scene - and she's absent for quite a fair bit.
So it's up to protagonist Wolff to pick up the slack and he does his job well.
He first left an impression in last year's The Fault In Our Stars, another movie adapted from a Green novel.
He may not sport the looks and build of a typical teen idol, but his nerdiness is appealing and you do connect with his story.
This movie isn't without cliches, but it raises a few issues - teen crushes, for one - that speak to most people.
It also questions how much we actually know someone, even though we think we have for a long time.
Paper Towns doesn't have the highs and lows of The Fault In Our Stars, but with its winsome cast, this is one coming-of-age tale that will resonate regardless of age.
- JOANNE SOH
THE CONSENSUS: The leading man is good, the leading lady even better, which makes Paper Towns well worth a visit.