Alright, so I read The Fault in Our Stars for the first time in January 2012, right when the book came out, and I am not afraid to admit that despite the fact I was just about to graduate from college, the book greatly affected me. That being said, i re-read it again this year in preparation for the movie. And, surprisingly enough, I didn’t hate it.
So being a John Green fan-girl, I can say that I have read all of his novels, constantly follow his updates and pretty much hope that one day we can be besties. That being said, I was extremely nervous when I found out about TFioS bring turned into a movie. After my heart broke completely when The Perks of Being a Wallflower let me down in movie-form, I found myself anxious that Green was involved but that was about it. I waited patiently for word on the movie, watched the trailers as they came out, and continued wondering if there was any possible way this could be good.
Then, on Friday, I saw it.
Being that I am an adaptation snob, first I will say that I thought the adaptation did a great job at teasing fans of the book in relation to the movie. For example, while some scenes of dialogue were completely lifted from the novel, other subtle differences were there. When Hazel goes to watch a movie with Gus, they don’t mention the movie but we can clearly see a V for Vendetta poster in the bedroom, alluding to the fact that they watch it in the book. These small subtleties were fantastic.
The acting impressed me, especially from the character of Isaac, played by Nat Wolff. Even though he is a minor character, he commanded the screen many times with his presence. Shailene Woodley was an amazing Hazel and Ansel Egort, in my opinion, was the perfect Gus.
Another thing that needs to be mentioned is a love story that really isn’t focused on throughout the movie, the relationship between Hazel’s parents. I think the scene where they get off the plane and return from Amsterdam defines how beautiful of a love story they share. He hugs her, holds her, and that’s that. You can see a lifetime of love in those few seconds. The theme of love and infinity comes up so many times throughout the movie, that I felt like this was one relationship that really needed to be mentioned.
However, my critique of the movie is that I felt as though it strayed from the purpose of the book. The book contained witty banter and characters that understood that while they were dying, they were more focused on the condition of the world around them. The movie, while containing these elements, seems to have only been marketed as a sappy teen romance with cancer dashed in. It all honesty, it made me think of, at times, the 2002 movie based on Nicholas Sparks book, A Walk to Remember. The characters in the book were well developed, but if you came into the movie without reading it, I feel as though the on-screen characters may have felt a little flat.
Still, the movie was good, albeit it is a teenage drama. I felt like it meant a lot more to me when I was younger, and made me feel a little strange that I was probably the oldest person in the theater that wanted to be there that was over the age of 15.
And for those wondering, I did not cry nearly as much as I thought I would. Only a few tears escaped and it was during on scene. However, the 13-year-old next to me who was obsessed with taking selfies DURING THE MOVIE, and sobbed relentlessly for the entire thing. It wasn’t that sad. Then again, maybe I am just old and cynical.
But, go see it. And tell me what you think.
I will always think the book was better, not just because I am a hipster, but because it’s what brought me to TFioS first.