The Fault in Our Stars | Movie Review

About The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars is a 2014 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Josh Boone, based on the novel of the same name by John Green. The film stars Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, and Nat Wolff, with Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, and Willem Dafoe in supporting roles.

Woodley plays Hazel Grace Lancaster, a sixteen-year-old cancer patient who is forced by her parents to attend a support group, where she subsequently meets and falls in love with Augustus Waters, portrayed by Ansel Elgort. Navjyot Gill also acts in this movie.

Cast

    Shailene Woodley as Hazel Grace Lancaster
    Ansel Elgort as Augustus Waters
    Nat Wolff as Isaac
    Laura Dern as Frannie Lancaster
    Sam Trammell as Michael Lancaster
    Mike Birbiglia as Patrick
    Lotte Verbeek as Lidewij Vliegenthart
    Willem Dafoe as Peter van Houten
    Milica Govich as Mrs. Waters
    David Whalen as Mr. Waters
    Ana Dela Cruz as Dr. Maria
    Emily Peachey as Monica
    Emily Bach as Monica's mom


SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on The Fault in Our Stars:

1. I read the book in two days (large fonts!) and I must say that this movie was a faithful adaptation in terms of directly lifting dialogue and entire scenes from the source material (down to the pink towel that Hazel's mom wore when she rushed to her room). It would be unfair to compare the two different visions so let me just say that when Hazel promised at the beginning that it won't be the typical love story, only the book stayed true to that promise.

2. Yes, I cried tons while watching the movie but then I cry in almost everything. Besides, it was a story about two star-crossed kids with cancer. You know their love story was doomed from the start. Only a person with a heart of stone wouldn't feel anything for these two.

3. The weird thing about all my crying, though, was that it happened on those particular scenes when the movie didn't try hard to make me cry. Remember that scene when Hazel's mom said they couldn't afford the trip to Amsterdam? Or the one when she looked at her parents holding hands and she felt like a burden to them? Sure I bawled my eyes out during her pretend eulogy and I probably felt a punch in my solar plexus when Augustus revealed that he was sick but these were easy triggers for my tear duct buttons.

4. Which brings me to my other point, how can a movie with such a brave female character actually not have the balls to honestly depict cancer? I understand that it was primarily a love story (albeit a corny one) but during the third act when it needed to show courage, it actually chickened out and resorted to the usual emotional manipulation. Where was the scene in the book when Augustus peed himself? Sure it would have ruined every little girl's crush on Ansel Elgort but why didn't it show the disease as it really was?

5. Speaking of Ansel Elgort, he was really charming in this movie, no? I actually forgot that he played brother to Shailene Woodley in Divergent. Actually this movie worked entirely because of the strong performances. Shailene nailed all of her crying scenes (although I never for one second believed that she was 16). And let's not forget the phenomenal Laura Dern who breathed such life to a typical suffering mother role.

6. The evil depiction of Peter Van Houten and his eventual change of heart looked lame onscreen and was a big departure from that in the book. And they really had to choose the guy who played Nosferatu and the Green Goblin as if the character wasn't despicable enough. Oh, and that whole Anne Frank's house scene (endless stairs!) didn't do anything for me. It also probably had the most unromantic first kiss ever.

7. For those that read the book, what things did you miss in this adaptation? Mine would have to be Kaitlyn (to show that Hazel's not really anti-social), all the V for Vendetta references (only shown as a poster in Augustus' room), Caroline Mathers (Augustus had an ex-girlfriend!!), the alfresco Amsterdam dinner near the canal (dinner under the stars would have been more romantic), that HUMP THE CAVE WALL scene, all those Facebook references (you know the posts that people make whenever someone dies; those made the story more human and timely), and Augustus' eulogy that was not as sentimental as the movie made it to be.

8. Wait, they did omit the only scene in the book where I cried. It was the one where Hazel attended Augustus' wake, approached his coffin, placed her hand on his chest, and said, "I love you present tense. It's okay, Gus. It's okay. Do you hear me? It's okay." Then she kissed him on the cheek and said, "Okay? Okay."

Pass me the Kleenex.

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (Josh Boone, 2014) - Manipulative to a fault that the only thing missing was probably a Peter Gabriel song.

Movie Rate : ★★★☆☆


Written and review by Json Javier.

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