Film Review: The Fault in Our Stars

Saturday 12 July 2014 by

The Fault in Our Stars, Movie, John Green

Film adaptations of beloved books are always tricky and John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars has, in the two years since its release, become somewhat of a phenomenon. To start off, the film’s take on the book is damn near perfect.

The Fault in Our Stars tells the story of 17 year old Stage 4 cancer patient Hazel Lancaster’s romance with fellow cancer patient Augustus Waters and the adventurous time they have together. Meeting at a support group, they begin a romance, aiding a friend with a broken heart and journeying to Amsterdam to track down a reclusive author and discover the true ending of his only novel, beloved by both of them.

While a film involving two kids dying of cancer may sound hideously depressing it is anything but. This isn’t a story about cancer it’s a story of two people finding each other, falling in love and embracing the time they have. It’s tender, uplifting and wonderfully captures those little humourous moments life contains even at the low points. It’s never slushy so even if you’re not into romance there’s plenty to enjoy. It is of course fanciful but that’s all part of its charm. And that’s just the thing about The Fault in Our Stars, it’s always charming, never self-indulgent in sentiment or pity just like its leading characters.

Ansel Elgort’s portrayal of Gus is simply outstanding, he shows a true understanding of his character and it’s as if he was simply plucked from the pages of the novel and put on screen. Never have I seen an actor so beautifully capture a novel’s character. While some may find his character a little contrived, I personally found that he reminded me very much of a dear friend of mine and loved him for it. Shailene Woodley (The Descendents) shines as Hazel, brilliantly portraying a strong young woman who accepts her fate but never lets it define her. Together, they are two of the most believable characters I have come across in a long time and it’s refreshing to see such a realistic depiction of young adults.

This is a film with real heart, free of overly dramatic conflict that depicts family life and friendship in a very relatable way. All too often in stories of this type the parents are disapproving but here they’re nothing but supportive and it’s wonderful to see that for once. It’s definitely one of the best ‘teen movies’ to come out of Hollywood in a long time and is definitely up there with films like Say Anything. But to label it simply a teen film feels a little unfair as it is simply a well-crafted film that can be enjoyed by all age groups.

If you’re wondering what all the fuss has been about, get down to your local cinema and check it out. If you’re a fan of the book, you won’t be disappointed. Either way, whether you’re a crier or not, bring tissues! 5 stars for the adaptation, 4 for the film overall.

Nerissa is a writer, mummy and rather proud geek living in the countryside. In between playtime, cuddles and fun times she loves to read, knit, bake and write Young Adult and children’s fiction.

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