More Than “Okay”
Star-crossed and star-filled, “The Fault in Our Stars” is sure to bring tears to your eyes.
The movie adaption does justice to the New York Times Bestselling novel of the same name by John Green. Using its beautiful plot line and witty banter, it gives the audience a heart-wrenching ride on the “roller coaster that only goes up.”
The story begins with cancer patient Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley, “Divergent”) attending a cancer support group after her parents encouraged her to get out more. There, she meets Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort, “Carrie”) and the journey begins.
The two share a love of literature, so Hazel introduces Gus to her favorite book, “An Imperial Affliction.” They bond over the abrupt ending, and decide to contact the author Peter Van Houten (Willem Dafoe, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”) to find out what happens to their beloved characters.
Woodley and Elgort have incredible chemistry, feeding off each other’s emotions and portraying a love deeper than a simple teen fling. Viewers are sure to put hands over their hearts and reach for tissues during the couple’s captivating scenes. Their abilities and strengths as actors are a large part of what makes this film so emotionally charged.
Fans of the novel will not be disappointed. The film’s writers, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, stuck closely to the book’s themes and plot, even pulling dialogue straight from its pages. Only some parts of the book were left out and no large plot lines were added in. Even so, a downfall of the film was the incredibility of Hazel’s sickness. Woodley sometimes looked a little too healthy to be a cancerous “grenade,” as Hazel calls herself.
However, Director Josh Boone (“Stuck in Love”) did a great job of illustrating the struggle of having a terminal illness. This is best portrayed in the scenes at the Anne Frank House. Hazel and Augustus tour the historic site, but Hazel has trouble climbing the steep flights of stairs leading to the attic. Hazel’s labored breathing is interwoven with quotes from Anne Frank’s diary played throughout the museum. Her perseverance mirrors Anne’s, showing that Hazel should try to be happy during a dreadful time.
This highly anticipated film adaption is sure to be a hit. “The Fault in Our Stars” will leave viewers happy to be so sad. Its romantic themes, funny one-liners, and powerful message keep the crowd captivated and satisfied, even when they are touching up their make-up in the bathrooms afterward.
3 stars out of 4. MPAA Rating PG-13. Runtime 125 minutes.