|Photo: Chris White|
I, honestly, do not even know where to begin with this film.
The Fault In Our Stars is a sad but gripping love story that will send your emotions for a ride. The film, based on the New York Times Bestselling novel by John Green, follows teen Hazel Grace Lancaster (Divergent‘s Shailene Woodley) who has Stage IV thyroid cancer. Her parents and doctors believe she’s depressed and encourage her to attend a support group – much to her dismay.
While in support group, Hazel meets Augustus Waters (Woodley’s Divergent co-star Ansel Elgort) who’s osteosarcoma caused him to have some tough times as well. That included the amputation of his left leg. His cancer is in remission, however, and he said that he came to support group for his best friend, Isaac (Admission‘s Nat Wolff) who’s eye cancer caused him to lose one eye and his next surgery will make him go completely blind.
Augustus – or Gus as he’s commonly referred to in the film – and Hazel hit it off pretty much as soon as they meet. The chemistry between the pair is natural from the get go. Gus invites Hazel to his home to hang out and meet his parents (David Whalen and Milicia Govich). While there, Gus and Hazel exchange books – Hazel gives Gus Peter Van Houten’s An Imperial Affliction and Gus gives Hazel a book based on his favorite video game “Counterinsurgence.” Gus and Hazel promise that they’ll read each other’s books although the books are not really in each’s interests.
Hazel has read An Imperial Affliction many, many times. The book ends mid-sentence, leaving all kinds of questions to be answered. Since writing the book (both author and book are fictional), Van Houten lives in seclusion somewhere in Amsterdam. Hazel has questions to ask Van Houten and has sent countless letters to him. Then, one day, Gus surprises Hazel with a response from Van Houten via his assistant to an email he sent. Hazel then corresponds with Van Houten through email, one thing leads to the next, and Van Houten invites Gus and Hazel to Amsterdam for a visit.
A sad Hazel talks with Gus on how traveling to Amsterdam and meeting Van Houten is a big wish of her’s but she realizes that she probably can’t go given all that’s required with her cancer treatments, what have you. Gus secretly gets in contact with The Genies – a fictional version of the Make A Wish Foundation – and the trip to Amsterdam happens anyway. It is in Amsterdam that this seemingly improbable love story truly takes off and both Hazel and Gus learn a lot about themselves and life in general.
The Fault In Our Stars is just an incredible film. Hands down. The writers – Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber – did an exquisite job translating Gus and Hazel perfectly from Green’s book. All of the actors have amazing performances – especially Elgort, Woodley and Wolff. I have never cried while watching a film before but I will admit that I got teary eyed with this one. I could go on and on about the film but I’ll simply end with this:
I have a short list of my all time favorite films: Angels In The Outfield, Remember The Titans, Super 8 and The Kings Of Summer. I can now add The Fault In Our Stars to that list.
I Give It An: A+
Check Out The Trailer Here