If there is one thing that has been made abundantly clear over the last few years, it is that teenage based romance novels turned into movies make a lot of money. Why? Fan girls, mostly. But as long as it is teenage and romance, then it will make money. Most of them have seemed to do well, assuming they actually have a big following, unlike random shit like Vampire Academy.
Which is why it should come to no surprise that The Fault In Our Stars was breaking presale records.
Even if the movie ended up being shitty, I can’t get mad at it being made. Because after it gets made, then it is done and over. This is not a trilogy that will have the third book getting broken up into ten parts. Just one complete story, no cliff hangers, no bull shit. And really, that makes this feel a little bit more special for me.
I can see they are also showcasing the Hillary Rodham Clinton look in this movie.
Speaking of being special, Hazel (Shailene Woodley) is a girl who had cancer when she was thirteen, got over it, then had some lung issues. Now she has problems breathing, has one of those oxygen tanks by her at all times, going into her nose. Kind of hard to be a normal teenage girl like that! She can’t make friends, or even a boyfriend.
Until she goes to a support group. There she meets Isaac (Nat Wolff), a guy going blind from his eye cancer. But he isn’t important. His friend, Augusts Waters (Ansel Elgort), who is there to support Isaac is the important one. He had some cancer stuff, lost half of his leg, but now he has survived and wants to live life to the fullest. No worries. No problems. And he wants to do it all with Hazel.
Hazel is of course unsure of this boy. How could anyone like her? She has plastic in her nose!
Well, after finding out he is also pretty smart, willing to read the same book she likes and discuss death in a nice way, then yeah, she kind of likes him.
They have some goals. Like figuring out a way to go to Amsterdam, not for debauchery, but to see a recluse author (Willem Dafoe) and his assistant (Lotte Verbeek) to figure out what happened to the characters after the book ends and to talk about life and death. Augustus wants to be remembered when eventually goes away. Hazel just wants to be loved before she goes away even earlier.
Also starring Sam Trammell and Laura Dern as her very optimistic parents.
It is good to see Dr. Ellie Sattler still getting work. Even if it is awkward.
The first half of this movie, I was sitting in the theater wondering what is the point? It felt extremely basic, and almost a shitty non realistic love story. Bordering on disliking the film entirely.
Then the second half happened.
If there is one thing you hear about this book/movie ahead of time, it is probably that it is sad and to bring Kleenex. Well, that seems to be absolutely true. I can’t actually point out the number of times I cried, just that it happened on multiple occasions, sometimes for scenes that were pretty long. They just kept happening, both from being sad and beautiful/sweet.
And that literally is most of the reason I have to talk about this movie. Very touching and sad and beautiful. A first half that drags, and a second half that is a tear jerker. Does that mean it is great? On its own, it just means it knows how to tug on our emotional strings. Yet at the same time, I loved it for doing so.
I didn’t think the acting was anything special. I hated a few of the plot points. But at the same time, I think this is the type of movie I could watch multiple times and still feel an emotional connection with it, knowing what happens or not. That is a solid enough reason for this rating, in my eyes.
3 out of 4.