'The Fault in Our Stars' lies with those who don't see this film
There is a clear need for the type of story that The Fault in Our Stars tells. However, the story that it tells and the one that it wants us to believe that it tells are two different things. It doesn’t make the story a bad one – in fact, just the opposite. The Fault in Our Stars is story telling at its finest. It evokes laughter and tears sometimes within moments of each other.
Shailene Woodley is tagged as the top tier talent in this film, and she delivers. However, the story is not about her character Hazel Grace Lancaster. It is about the seemingly perfect, fellow cancer survivor Augustus Waters, played by Ansel Elgort.
This 18 year old love interest is every woman’s dream man. He is exceedingly funny. He is tall and handsome, and he is persistent (which after some discussions about rape culture may be teaching the wrong thing to men and women but that is a digression and better left to others to discuss).
The problem with Waters is that for most of the film he seems too perfect. Maybe that is to be expected since the story is told from Hazel Grace’s point of view, and she loves him deeply. Love has a way of covering the flaws of the loved one. Waters does show his mortality and enters the realm of men in dramatic and traumatic fashion.
While there are two ways to tell a sad story, The Fault in Our Stars says that it will avoid the sugar-coating of the story in favor of the realistic way. However, there are times when it seems to fail at this mission and falls into the cliché. There is nothing wrong with cliché as long as it is used intelligently, and the movie director, the cast and John Green use the cliché for all it is worth.
The Fault in Our Stars is not a tear-jerker, because jerking implies some sort of violence done to the viewer. Instead, it is a conduit for allowing the tears to flow freely. It gives a reason to cry without doing something unexpected or using some sort of gimmick that the viewer is unaware of when walking into the film.
Whether or not The Fault in Our Stars tells the story that it wants to tell, it is worth seeing, especially if you want to laugh, cry and remember that while we are all dying, we should all be living, and that life should include being loved deeply. Go with a box of tissues and a friend who won’t judge. Also expect the film to be crowded with older teens and women dragging their boyfriends along. Just don’t expect the boyfriends to admit that they liked the story just as much as the women did.
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See Romney's Review of The Fault in Our Stars on Movie Pilot