Whether they’re singing the Pokémon theme song in a derelict building or careening from hitting a cow in the middle of the freeway, the protagonists of John Green’s Paper Towns are sure to elicit a laugh or two. But is the book better than the movie where it concerns the themes of friendship, idolizing and the meaning of true freedom, or are film and text equal?
The storyline doesn’t vary when this adventure is stretched for about an hour and a half on the silver screen. The narrator, Quentin Jacobsen, is still engrossed with the miracle named Margo Roth Spiegelman, and his friends bring out his rather nerdy charm with their own eclectic personalities.
The movie’s ending isn’t as gray as the book’s, however. There was no classic John Green metaphor, but there was a bit of satisfied monologue over the ending scenes—a nice representation of the first person narration of the book. In my opinion, the movie’s ending was a nice reinforcement of Green’s message that friendship is something that should be cherished just as much as a romantic relationship.
Having our favorite book converted into a motion picture is always a time of conflicted feelings for readers. They can either flop terribly, or leave us breathless and beaming. With Paper Towns, I believe that the humorous and interestingly deep tale of Quentin Jacobsen’s senior year was properly represented by the movie. Most of the details were there, and the characters were still the same ones I had fallen in love with in the book.