It may have had a paper plot BUT I was still able to enjoy this coming of age teen flick.
A light pace and a promising cast made up for a cheesy and predictable affair.
After an all night adventure, Quentin’s (Nat Wolff) life-long crush, Margo (Cara Delevigne), disappears, leaving behind clues that Quentin and his friends follow on the journey of a lifetime.
I’m not familiar with the novel so I can’t make comparisons. All I knew was that it was from the author who created ‘The Fault in Our Stars’. A film that managed to subdue the cynic in me. And, for the majority of this film, was able to do so again.
The film was easygoing enough as we follow the bookworm Q moping after the rebellious Margo from early childhood up to present.
Wolff played Quentin very well. I was a little anxious about all the hype surrounding Delevigne’s debut. Not every model can make the transition to acting. Naomi Campbell, I’m looking at you. We could all list a number of Playboy models that shouldn’t be popping up in movies (Just me? Oh, okay moving on).
BUT as soon as Delevigne graced the silver screen, she won me over. I thought she was very good. She nailed the accent and could actually act! If anything, she wasn’t in it enough. BUT then there wouldn’t be a movie if she was.
The first half hour chugged along. The night adventure with Q was silly, BUT funny in parts, as the pair pranked those who had hurt Margo. Innocent enough. Wrapping a car in cling film. Waxing a dude’s eyebrow off. Wiping vasoline on a door knob (Had to be careful typing that one). That is until one of the parents fired a shotgun.
BUT it was still entertaining as we watched the estranged pair reignite their friendship and something more. Delevigne and Wolff had good chemistry and made the hammy romance subplot a bit more bearable.
BUT things got a little bit more interesting as Margo disappears the next day. Leaving a variety of clues. Setting Q and his chums on a little road trip.
The clue searching and mini scavenger hunt broke up the insufferable teen melodrama as Q becomes obsessed in finding the girl of his dreams. Luckily, it got by with a little help with some friends.
Austin Abrams and Justice Smith were brilliant as Q’s pals Ben and Radar. Abrams came out with some cracking lines as Ben. His fantastic “social skills” putting the lads into more awkward situations. Smith was hilarious as Radar. I loved the quirky back story involving his parents and an eclectic collection of black Santas.
They were a great trio and kept the film moving. I wasn’t really that bored and that’s saying something after the duds I’ve had to endure this month. The whole journey story line reeked of Stand By Me. Be it a more teeny and cheesy one. Stand By Me Zero. Especially when *POSSIBLE SPOILERS* a young Margo and Q find a dead body, alarm bells started ringing.
I couldn’t help making comparisons as the film carried on. The school friends embarking on a journey. One that would inevitably change their lives.
It was a little too light for my liking. I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic when the guys chanted the Pokemon theme to pump themselves up before creeping through a dodgy looking tunnel. A guilty chuckle for me.
The journey was corny and I felt the introduction of Halston Sage and Jaz Sinclair’s characters hampered things a little. Only because the outcome was so obvious. Although I did laugh at Radar’s constant confessing to Sinclair’s character on every little thing.
I didn’t expect a cameo from a certain actor during the petrol station scene either. Keep an eye out 😉
It was all a little corny as you realise that the journey is something much more. It was merely a chance for the guys to come to terms with the fact that they are moving away and embarking on a new journey. College, life, etc.
They bicker and gripe BUT you just know that everything will be alright in the end. It’s just that kind of film. And the pace did dip in places.
The closing moments, however, took me by surprise. It’s tough NOT to write about it without spoiling anything. BUT it was handled brilliantly and left an upbeat message that the young whipper snappers should listen to and the older cynics (Like yours truly) as well.
A talented cast makes this easygoing, if predictable, drama highly watchable. I can think of worse ways to kill 90 minutes.