I realize that I am not the target audience for a movie like The Fault In Our Stars. However, after hearing a lot of buzz about the movie and knowing my wife had read the book, we decided to watch it last night. So let’s take a look at it, okay? Okay.
The plot in a nutshell: Hazel Grace Lancaster (Played by Shailene Woodley of Divergent) is a 17 year-old cancer patient with defective lungs. Augustus Waters (Played by Ansel Ellgort, also of Divergent) is an 18 year-old boy who lost part of his leg to cancer already. He likes her, she likes him, but due to the cancer, Hazel does not want a relationship. Gus pursues her and flirts with her constantly to convince her it’s a good idea. Through their mutual admiration of a certain book, they go to Amsterdam to meet the author. They also deal with their feelings about cancer and each other. I’m not big on spoilers, but I don’t think it’s a big secret that they fall in love.
To be honest, it really wasn’t the vomit-inducing teen fluff I was expecting it to be. It had a lot of heart to it and I understood completely why it would appeal to the teen girl audience that has flocked to the theater to see it multiple times.
Hazel wears breathing tubes the entire movie and feels rejected and unlovable. Though she tells him they are just friends, Gus never gives up on his desire to date her. In fact, one of my favorite exchanges in the movie is when Hazel tells someone, “We’re just friends,” and Gus interjects, “She is. I’m not.” What girl wouldn’t swoon at the thought of a charming boy that sees past her flaws and loves her anyway? That’s right… none of them!
Though minor characters in the overall story, Hazel’s parents also bring some depth to the film. The story is told primarily from Hazel’s point of view, but we gain a good understanding of the struggle her mom and dad are going through too.
As is typical from Hollywood, they portrayed the one Christian character as a dopey buffoon, not worthy of being listened to. Had he had as much depth as the rest of the characters, Hazel and Gus might have been able to find some hope in their terrible situation. As I understand it, he was this way in the book, as well.
Did I like it? It was a tear-jerker that got very heavy at times, and I’m not a 16 year-old girl, so it’s rewatachability for me is minimal. Even though it will not end up on my DVD shelf, it was well made and I actually kind of enjoyed it. Shailene Woodley did not impress me much as Tris in Divergent but she did a fantastic job as Hazel and was really engaging to watch! I enjoyed her portrayal from the very first scene. Ansel Ellgort as Gus felt a little forced at first. A little too perfect. But he grew on me throughout the film.
How about you? What did YOU think of The Fault In Our Stars?