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The Movie Review: “The Fault in Our Stars”


Friday, June 13th, 2014
Issue 24, Volume 18.
Robert T. Nickerson
Special to the Valley News
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Nobody likes getting sick. It’s unpleasant, it changes our daily routine, and we’re brought down to a level in which our souls have been weakened by the disease, making us feel bad about ourselves and giving us an everlasting fear that sickness can strike at any moment.

No matter how healthy we try to live, we aren’t invincible and we could drop dead at any moment from something that scientists have yet to discover. That’s what is troubling about the universe; the air and land we breathe has so much we don’t understand that we’re still young at

fighting.

One such disease is cancer. This has been around forever and people to this day still get sudden announcements from their doctor that they too have become one of millions of people with a disease they have yet to find a cure.

Technology has gotten better but most cancer victims are stuck to taking chemotherapy as treatment, but it’s no guarantee. I think that people with cancer or any other kind of sickness want the world to know that they are regular people like us with interests, family and love.

Two teenagers reveal their love-sick story in the adaptation of the critically acclaimed novel, The Fault in Our Stars.

Hazel Grace Lancaster (played by Shailene Woodley) is a sixteen-year-old cancer patient who has had this curse ever since she was a little girl. She has gone through many treatments and has had a couple of encounters with death. Fate has kept her alive as she struggles to live a normal teenage life.

At the insistence of her parents, she attends a support group for teenagers like herself yet doesn’t find much that interests her. This changes when she gets stares from a new addition to the group, Augustus Waters (played by Ansel Elgort).

He has a rebellious spirit that many of the other cancer stricken teenagers lack that intrigues Hazel, yet she writes off his affections and ask that their relationship only remain friendly.

As the weeks pile on, their texting sessions become longer and the two get to know each other, including Hazel’s dream of meeting her favorite author Peter Van Houten (played by William Dafoe).

Augustus uses his wish from Make-A-Wish to take her and her mother to Amsterdam, where romance finally draws the two to each other. The trip goes well and they continue to prosper their relationship, until one of them encounters further complications.

The Fault in Our Stars could have gone a million ways wrong from adding a misunderstanding to having them instantly fall for each other right on the spot. Love stories are like horror films as few of them are any good, but this one is a very good love story.

Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort have some excellent chemistry that makes them look very precious together. It’s a real relationship where they’re seen talking to each other about how far is too far for love with those living with

cancer.

It’s a rare mix of funny and sad. Just how sad is The Fault in Our Stars? It never reaches a point of phony smultz, but rather heartbreaking facts of life that our characters have no choice but to face them.

I’ll say that I enjoyed 50/50 a little better than The Fault in Our Stars as it is missing something that was needed; more scenes with Augustus on his own. We get a lot of scenes of Hazel watching TV or reading but I never got more out of Augustus than that he used to play basketball and he’s a rebellious amputee.

The best way to describe the movie is something that I also used with Her last year: cute. It’s a cute story that I hope plenty of people are going to bring tissues with before they watch.

I’ll give this four and a half cityscapes of Amsterdam out of five, as both characters would have loved this. The Fault in Our Stars is a nice love story that the book’s fans are going to love and will become as much of a Valentine’s Day staple as 500 Days of Summer and Love Story has

become. 

Robert T. Nickerson is a film critic. His work can be seen at mastermindfilmproductions.com.


 

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