Monday, January 25, 2016

William Myrl; Letters to No One (33)

Dear No One,
I have to tell you about Paper Towns. It is a coming of age movie based on a book, naturally, that was done by the people who brought us The Fault in Our Stars. I was drawn into it far more forcefully than I expected,ridiculous narration and all. I like romantic comedies, which this sort of is. Im attached to the idea of quixotic love, being that it is the only sort of romance I can indulge in these circumstances. Im probably more affected by genre movies than I should be because of that. 
So...Paper Towns. Cara Delavigne is the central point around which this movie turns. It was strange watching her on screen, given that I've spent over twenty hours analyzing the features of her face. It isn't a fixation, I've done a few portraits of her, culminating in Naga Delavigne, the snake girl in my gallery. She's an internationally famous model, and she has some lovely angles, but this movie made her look oddly plain. Her voice surprised me, its the most attractive thing about her. Cara Delavigne has the lower register of a succubus.
But that isn't what the movie is about, and it isn't the reason I am writing you about it now. The ending was murder. It was pat and unsatisfying. Spoiler alert. He spends the better part of the movie looking for her because the night he spent with her was the best of his life and also the night before she disappears. She left clues to her location, though I should mention that the clues were totally unnecessary, he could have found her with five minutes on google. She went on to him about Paper Towns, and then goes to live in the little town next to the most famous Paper Town in america. She leaves an identifying post on the webpage for said Paper Town that states she is living there. They find this post the first time they look up the Paper Town, after half an hour of movie time snipe hunting, and it confirms shes there. It wouldn't be much of a movie without the mystery and the clues, but really, he should have seen that post on day one.
So he finds her, quite by chance, as he is about to leave the special town. The meeting is awkward. I'm fine with and expected this. The clues were obscure enough at the end that they appeared accidental, which they were. But they have smoothies and talk and he feels a bit better about his love for her being mostly one sided. Then comes the parting kiss, and the dilemma: should he go with her or go home? Of course, he is a good protagonist and goes home. I'll take it, except that there's no suggestion they are still in contact afterward. She talks to her little sister every day, apparently, but her little sister never told her Q was in her room looking for clues? She couldn't have given him her number too? Instead, there is a Breakfast Club speech about growing up and the pitfalls of idolization. I am not interested in that. I do not watch movies to be lectured on ethics for juveniles, and yes, I know I'm not the target audience, but I doubt the juveniles are watching it for that either. The moral of the movie about quixotic love was that we should let our quixotic loves go and live our lives like happy cogs. Perhaps this upsets me more than it would other people because if I let go of my quests quixotic there is nothing left. And I dislike when I can hear people pretending to be wise. The movie could have ended with a phone call. It could have ended with him agreeing to go with her, at least that would have been surprising, it could have gone to black on that and I would have been delighted. At least it would have been better than the fortune cookie pretense at a lesson learned we got instead.
A final quibble, why is no one trying to help Margot, Cara's character? She is plainly suffering from serious mental illness. She has a clear behavioral pattern. She runs away to try to escape her suffocating existential issues. Healthy, happy people don't ask why they're alive, they don't ask who they are with that kind of desperation. She has mood swings, and has trouble gauging the emotions and intentions of others. She makes major life decisions in a state of constant crisis. Her parents say she has pulled this disappearing act four times before. This behavior is not a new thing, even if it happened to be triggered this time by her boyfriend cheating on her. You don't run away from home to sleep on the couch of someone you met on the internet and work for minimum wage in the middle of nowhere instead of going to college because you are chemically balanced.
Who will help this girl?
Okay, so I've taken up this whole letter talking about Paper Towns, I hope I haven't bored you. More on real life next time.

William Myrl (32)

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