The Fault in Our Stars (2014)
Josh Boone directs the latest addition to the YA genre. The movie is adapted from the highly acclaimed and best-selling book, of the same name, written by John Green. Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) is a precocious and rather normal 16-year-old girl who has Stage IV thyroid cancer. To appease her parents and doctor, Hazel agrees to attend a cancer support group meeting at a local church. There she meets Augustus “Gus” Waters (Ansel Elgort). Waters is a cancer survivor who is attending the meeting in support for his best friend, Isaac, who has a tumor in his one remaining eye.
Gus asks out Hazel right after the meeting and thus their teen romance begins to sprout. While cancer and death are a topic discussed in the movie it is not the heart of this film. The film’s message really is that you should live in every moment and take advantage of every infinity life presents to you. Unlike last year’s The Spectacular Now this movie delivers. I think there are parts of 2011’s 50/50 and 2013’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower ingrained in the film’s DNA while also being an original and thoughtful movie.
Woodley and Elgort give extraordinary performances that perfectly personify and embody the beloved characters of the novel. I should state that I read this novel earlier this year. I quickly gulped it in one day. It instantly became a favorite of mine and thus I had high expectations. I am pleased to state that the movie did not disappoint me one bit. It lived up to all the hype. If you loved the book you will love this movie.
The only thing I can critique is the length of the movie. While I thought it was a tad too long I was totally okay with it. I was okay with it because like when I was reading the book I wanted to enjoy every morsel of delight Green had written so I didn’t mind the delayed gratification. The movie brilliantly adapted the humor and dialogue from the novel. The musical score was beautifully integrated within each scene.
I recommend you watch this movie regardless if you’ve read the book. In my opinion, I don’t know if there is anything I would change. The movie was spectacular. Hope you think so too and don’t forget to bring the Kleenex. You know, just in case.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (thematic elements, some sexuality and brief strong language)
Running Time: 126 minutes
My Grade: A
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