If you’re post puberty and pre death, and living in a sane urban world, its hardly plausible that you wouldn’t have heard of The Fault in Our Stars book or the much hyped movie. (India release tomorrow July 4th OKAY?)
However useless I would be in the event of plagues, natural disasters and terrorist attacks, I am your best friend when it comes to tackling social phenomena launched by teenagers.
Stop trying to ignore this thing with those weird clouds and girls who cry when you say the word “okay” to them.I’m going to help you survive through it in three levels of basic obsessiveness because not all book-readers/movie-goers/pop-culture-emotional-apocalypse survivors are created equal.
The first movie that almost stole two tears out of my right eye since the first 15 minutes of “Up” in 2010. Yes I already torrented it. lol.
1. You have no idea what any of this means but this movie is vaguely interesting to you:
Then there you go with a spoilerfree excerpt.
Gus, Isaac, and Hazel meet in a support group for young people with cancer in a church basement. Gus lost a leg to a touch of cancer, Isaac an eye and potentially the second one as well, and Hazel calls herself a grenade. She has terminal cancer being held at bay by a trial drug, but no one pretends that it’s a permanent solution or that one exists.
Sounds unreally hilarious, right? It actually is. Fantastic gallows humor and regular fun humor abound. And so do struggles to cope with illness, mortality, the unfairness of life and other overall qualities of the Universe. So yeah, it’s a book about teenagers.
But it’s a smart book, intentionally anti-sentimental and anti-pity. Any happy endings will not be just because it will feel good or someone deserves it, but because that’s life.
And maybe that honesty is what strikes such a chord with so many people who have read it. If you don’t cry then you’re either a monster or you need to teach me your wizard ways because most people have been a fucking mess for almost the whole two hours.
2. You’ve read the book and want to see the movie:
Gus and Hazel are cast perfectly. That’s the thing the whole movie hinges on and they nailed it. Okay? Okay.
There’s a lot of the book missing in the movie, which will be obvious to even the most casual reader. But the cuts hurt a lot less than say, entire characters who never made it into the Harry Potter movies.
Part of what’s great about the movie is what a great adaptation it is: it’s loyal and literal in places, but doesn’t sell anything short or take away from any of the vital points of the book.
That asshole in the book is a super huge asshole in the movie, disappointments stay disappointing and the moments of familial love and revelation are not milked for time.
The important lack of pandering in the book makes it into the movie. So did the Swedish rap music.
3. You’ve read the book at least three times and there’s a good chance you’ve already seen the movie by the time you see this:
What’s missing specifically?
“My thoughts are stars I can’t fathom into constellations.”
Everything else you really want is there: the bottled stars, falling in love like falling asleep, the Night of the Broken Trophies, Gus’s gaming chairs, the Literal Heart of Jesus and Funky Bones. I also enjoyed the fact that the film doesn’t draw out the miserable decline of a specific character. It makes the scene at the gas station that much more devastating.
The only thing you need to know is that the movie is what you hoped it would be. Maybe bring an encouragement or four of your own with you to help recover before you leave the theater. Maybe plan to see your therapist the next day. Or just bring them with.
The rare, best and perfectly justified book adaptation since The Shawshank Redemption, which is the MOST ULTIMATE MOVIE OF ALL TIME. You rarely get a movie thats equally as good as the book. Because Books > Movies. And this one was.
Godspeed, superfans. 🙂