Given that I read the book a couple of years ago and was “desperate” to see the film from the second I heard one was happening, it’s disgraceful that it took me until yesterday (it came out last June!) to watch it. And it wasn’t even because I was scared it was going to be bad. That’s just what I do.
If you have read the book, watch it for a good adaptation. If you haven’t because of the content, put your fears aside and give it a chance, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. ♥♥♥♥♥/5
For those who haven’t read the book,
The Fault in Our Stars is by John Green and is your typical teenage love story… she has thyroid cancer and an oxygen tank, he has osteosarcoma and one leg, they meet in a cancer support group and pack a lifetime of love into the criminally short infinity they really do get before the inevitable.
Okay, maybe not your typical story.
It sounds depressing, but it really isn’t. There were two ways to handle this story; a tragic story about two teenagers with cancer or a sweet love story between two teenagers who happen to have cancer, and this is the latter. I’m not saying it won’t make you cry, but it will also make you laugh and “aww”, because that’s how Hazel and Gus handle it.
Similarly to how they handle it and how it’s been written, the film is the same: the cancer is there, there are some hospital scenes, and Hazel has her oxygen tank and cannulas throughout, but they’re more like props you might not notice in another film than things that are in your face making you sad.
For those who have read the book, it succeeds in so many ways:
Hazel is played by a well-cast Shailene Woodley. Without sounding like I think she’s ugly – she isn’t, and now I’ve been introduced to her and like her I intend to go watch Divergent and other things she’s been in – she’s also not so beautiful that it’s unbelievable that she finds it unbelievable that someone would find her attractive.
Ansel Elgort is also a good Gus, and especially has the smiles down to an art.
It’s a faithful adaptation that won’t have you screaming at the TV too much (example: Gus’s room was pretty much how I imagined it, but Hazel’s seemed too big)…
… but there are also small changes and surprises that won’t leave you feeling that at 121 minutes, it’s a bit too long and faithful. So no going into it having made your friend watch it with you feeling cocky about being able to say what comes next.