So it seems like every year we get a new over-hyped piece of entertainment. In 2011 it was Twilight, 2012 was The Hunger Games, 2013 was Breaking Bad and 2014 is The Fault in Our Stars.
Before I review the movie, some background. I wasn’t one of the die hard fans walking into this. I read the book, and thought it was decent. It wasn’t the Bible Sequel by any means, which is what most teenage girls will describe it to you as, but it’s a solid novel. However, I was kind of hoping the hype was false and the movie wouldn’t do well so I could prove that hype isn’t always good hype. I did say to two or three of my friends reading this: if for some reason it’s good, I will admit I was wrong. Here I am: guys, I was SOOOOOOOO wrong. Guys, this movie is fantastic!
I feel like I need to apologize for even doubting it! So first things first, we got Shailene Woodley in the movie as Hazel Grace Lancaster, a teenager plagued with cancer. Guys, this is my favorite Shailene performance, and The Spectacular Now was one of my top movies last year. Usually Shailene Woodley is really cute and likable in her roles, but here she was different! She was still cute and likable, but she was quirky and sarcastic and even more relatable than usual. She’s kinda depressed too, but all of these things mesh into the common teenager, cancer or not. And then we have Ansel Elgort in the movie, and he’s actually part of why I thought the movie was doomed. The trailers portray his character, Gus, as this cocky, up-on-himself ‘dude’ type, who looks like he just finished playing an extra in Neighbors. Guys, not only was I wrong about his portrayal of the role, but my new life goal is to become Augustus Waters. I mean Elgort really nails his performance of the guy: he’s funny, he’s even more sarcastic than Hazel, he’s witty, he’s really hopeful about life, he’s charming and he’s romantic. (Side note with the cast, Willem DaFoe is cool in his cameo-esque role, Nat Wolff is a surprise stand-out and Laura Dern/Sam Trammell are also great as the emotional parents.)
Then we look at overall plot. I can’t even say what the movie’s about, because saying, “oh yeah, it’s about two kids with cancer who fall in love” does not summarize it at all. Their romance is the front of the movie, but it’s kind of like X-Men: Days of Future Past. The romance (it’s superheroes in DOFP) is the forefront, but you don’t really pay attention to that. It’s about characters, and those characters’ relationships, and the human condition in general, which is what I really pride this movie on. It would have been so easy to have made this movie just some other toilet of a teen romance novel, but when the actors and the director, and the writer (of the screenplay and novel) put in the time, it shows.
The only real issue I have with the movie is the pacing. Now I’ll do a little book comparison here: the scenes before they go to Amsterdam feel very rushed. So the book in Amsterdam feels like the third-quarter of the book, but here it feels like the second-third. That’s to say (if you’ve been through 4th Grade math) the first home sequences feel a little rushed. I would’ve had an issue with the tone after Amsterdam too, but that corrects itself because (no spoilers) there is a reason for it to become darker and more humorless.
But wrapping up, some people say The Fault in Our Stars is really depressing and you’ll be totally emotionally drained for days after seeing it. To quote Gus, “I reject that immediately”. This movie isn’t meant to depress you, even though you will cry at some point during the third act (I did; second movie ever to ever cry in). The Fault in Our Stars is ultimately about hope. We all have hope in our lives, and we should recognize that. Life is short, carpe diem, find that hope in your life. Thanks to the hope it provides for us all, The Fault in Our Stars is without a doubt, deserving of all the hype.
So did you guys see The Fault in Our Stars? Are you gonna be like me and wait til there are less emotional teenage girls in the audience (I was one of 6 dudes in the theater, out of 100 total people, so if that’s your plan: wait a little longer…)? And the comment question of the day: what’s your favorite romantic-comedy? Yes, this movie is very funny too. Whatever that movie may be, leave me a comment down below and as always, thanks for reading guys.