The Fault in Our Stars Movie Review

tn_3834_faultinourstarsposterresize-1401344646Wildly popular author John Green’s book is brought to the big screen by a very talented cast, fulfilling every TFIOS fan’s dream. Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters are two normal teenagers—except Hazel has thyroid cancer, Augustus is an amputee, and they both meet and fall in love at a cancer support group. They share late-night witty conversations, a love of a certain book, and a trip to the Netherlands. Quotes come to life, charmingly spoken by Ansel Elgort (Augustus Waters), or candidly expressed by Shailene Woodley (Hazel Grace). Set in a church’s basement called The Heart of Jesus or against a gorgeous city-life backdrop of Amsterdam, the book becomes a faithful adaptation that will surely please fans—and here’s where we run into the movie’s pitfall.

This is a movie made to satisfy the fans, but in doing so, TFIOS can’t seem to stand on its own, playing on the safe side of the spectrum. Like Augustus relies on his prosthetic leg, the movie leans too heavily on the book, which limits the potential audience range. There are no risks taken, no leaps of faith made. Every character is a bit too perfect—perfectly flawed—but hey, I never said I didn’t like perfect. It’s still a beautiful, emotional roller coaster of a love story that will have you in tears.

Woodley proves herself as a capable actress once again especially in her sudden emotional outbursts and unashamed sobbing without ever asking the audience for pity. Her chemistry with on-screen boyfriend Ansel Elgort is faultless. Elgort, dapper yet vulnerable, delivers a powerful portrayal of his character. Nat Wolff, who plays Isaac, steals the show with his comical rage and wit. As a fan of the book, I grasped onto every line and symbol I recognized, but some may find the movie chock-full with contrived metaphors. Yes, it’s a bit mawkish, and I did use my tissue box, but the romance never becomes careless or overly passionate. TFIOS is for ages 13+, and parents should know that there is an implied scene between the two lovers as well as some profanity.

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About Cassandra Hsiao

Cassandra Hsiao is a senior at OCSA (Orange County School of the Arts). Her work has been nationally recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and National Student Poets Program. She has been chosen as finalists of playwriting competitions held by California Young Playwrights, The Blank Theatre, Writopia Labs, and Princeton University. Her poetry, essays and reviews have appeared in TeenReads, Jet Fuel Review, Feminine Inquiry, Aerie International and more. She also conducts print and on-camera interviews as a Star Reporter and Film Critic for multiple online outlets. She won a National Gracie Award in Student Online Video Host Category by The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation . https://twitter.com/Cassandra_Hsiao

Posted on June 3, 2014, in Movie Reviews. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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