Awhile ago I read the book “Paper Towns” by John Green. There were many things I liked about the book and many things I didn’t.
The writing was of course superb. I mean, it’s John Green people. He is amazing.
What bothered me the most about the book was the ending. I so much wanted Margo and Quentin to live happily ever after. Because, it’s a book right? It should have a happy ending.
Here’s the thing……John Green writes real stories. Not to mean true stories…just real ones.
In the real world, not everyone has a nice and clean happy ending. Real life is messy. Real people are messy. We are complicated and intricate. We are not cookie cutter. We are unique.
That usually means that not everyone falls madly in love and has 2.5 kids and a 2 car garage. Not everyone even wants that.
I felt that the movie portrayed this well. Just like the book did.
I felt like it was a pretty accurate account of what can happen when you are dealing with real people. Real people aren’t always conformists. Real people can be wild and indecisive. We can be weak and vulnerable. We can be vagabonds.
This is who I think Margo is. She is an adventurer without a real purpose to her adventuring. She lives by whim and metaphors. She lives for each day.
Real people are like that. I recently met one.
These people need new experiences. They need to chase those happy and not so happy endings. They need new air to breathe. New lands to traverse.
The movie ended with Margo looking less like the bitch she comes off as in the book.
And you know what? Even though the movie ended far more happily than the book, I prefer the book.
The book was raw. The book was real. The book showed exactly what a wanderer is like. They don’t want your strings binding them up. They want you to let them loose when they need it.
So, even though I don’t particularly like sad endings….this story is a damn good one. It enlightens those of us who don’t have those urges. It shows the real world…with real people.
In my mind, that enrichment is worth it.