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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

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Movie Review: The Fault In Our Stars

John Green has enjoyed a fair share of praise in the past couple of months, but he has also been the recipient of a healthy amount of criticism. Say what you will about him, but the man knows how to write a story with mass appeal. It’s hard for me to remember the last time a film, adapted from a novel set in an entirely realistic world, was met with such anticipation. The absence of dystopia, vampires and the supernatural appears to be the breath of fresh air that young adult readers were secretly yearning for. The Fault In Our Stars garnered a lot of positive reviews even before it was released in theaters, which drove the tweens and adults alike in masses to the theaters opening weekend. I found myself shuffling along with the Friday night crowd this past weekend, anxiously awaiting to watch the chemistry unfold between Shaliene Woodley and Ansel Elgort. *SPOILERS TO FOLLOW*
My criticisms about the novel aside, the real charm of this story is the raw emotion present in the relationship between two teens who are desperate to find companionship in their difficult lives. The delicacies of their courtship were represented beautifully in the film, and I found myself getting lost in the progression and forgetting about the inevitable outcome. I felt an advantage having read the book so long ago (two years), because I was not plagued with the responsibility of mentally noting every insignificant difference between the novel and the film. I was able to relax and enjoy the story for what it was, a rather simple but poignant commentary on the lives of two teens who have cancer. 

(Check out what Michelle thought of the novel HERE)

Shaliene Woodley is definitely not who I imagined playing the role of Hazel Grace Lancaster when I read the book, but I thought she portrayed the character very well. I particularly enjoyed her performance in the scene where Hazel and Augustus travel to Peter Van Houten’s house to ask him questions regarding his novel. I believed her raw emotion and I empathized with her, as I would have had a similar reaction to such bitter disappointment. She allowed herself to feel a full range of emotions, from pretentious apathy at Support Group to her full emotional breakdown when -spoiler alert- Augustus dies. I believed her every second of the film.

I was particularly smitten with Ansel Elgort, who plays Augustus Waters in the film. His charm, wit and vulnerability in the film was so spot on, I cried a lot harder than I imagined I would at the close of the film because I was so sad that he wouldn't be on screen anymore. He was the perfect amount of unassumingly handsome, but you knew he knew that. He delivered some of the most cringe worthy quotes from the novel (in my opinion) with a certainty that made you swoon. An element of his character that I never really bought into before was the “cigarette metaphor,” but in the film, I felt like I understood it more. 

Overall, I enjoyed the film a lot more than I expected to. I went in with some expectations, mainly for the two leads, and was not disappointed. I would recommend this film to anyone who read the novel, or anyone who decided to skip it. It was enjoyable, adorable, and just the right amount of emotional. 


  1. I cannot wait to see the movie!! I really enjoyed the book and think that I will also find myself crying more watching the movie than I did reading the book.

  2. I just read the book because the prison book club I facilitate asked to do this book. I am glad I finally read it, since as the parent of an 18 year old daughter I had heard a good bit about it. I am looking forward to seeing the movie. I thought John Waters's usage of words was so interesting! No examples I can think of right now of course but I think he really "got" how a teenager thinks/expresses him herself.