John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars has become massively popular among readers that it is no surprise it was turned into a movie. Before you read my review of the movie, be sure to read up on my review of the novel.
I believe the movie stayed very true to the book. It captured the initial emotions I had while reading the book. Even when I knew where the ending would lead, I couldn’t help but still tear up. The actors, especially Ansel Elgort who played August, played the characters with honestly and tapped into their vulnerability perfectly. As a fan of the book, I am super happy that a lot of the major scenes were transferred over and translated well onto the big screen.
When Patrick, the counselor at the church who had testicular cancer, is introduced, I thought it was a bit awkward. It was somewhat humorous, but mostly awkward. Something else that bothered me was when Isaac squeezed his girlfriend’s boob in the parking lot when he made out with her. I understand it’s teen love, but I didn’t think it was necessary to show it. I think if I watched the movie with my mom I would have been ten times more embarrassed.
Now it seems turning books into movies are all the rage. On top of that, having the author appear in the movie is a common thing too. I guess it’s a nice ode to them, but John Green’s on-screen time felt super awkward to me. I understand he’s on YouTube. He actually has a lot of great things to say on the internet. But it felt like the moment you give him a Hollywood script, he sounded robotic. He played a random father in an airport, telling his daughter not to bother Hazel. His tone came across too harsh for such a young child. If an author is invited to make a cameo, I suggest that they stay in the background and remain silent. The true fans will be able to point them out. Also, I don’t know if it’s just me but I thought there were more scenes with the author Van Houten in the book that his appearance on screen felt too short. In the movie, he didn’t have as big of an impact. His back story wasn’t even explained at all that he came across as just a heartless drunk. And I know Willem Dafoe is a big time actor but he was definitely not how I pictured this character.
As for Shailene and Ansel who played Hazel and Gus, I think they did a great job. I could sense their chemistry and they did a great job embodying the characters. My favourite scene was the restaurant one. They both looked wonderful and the trees and twinkle lights made the atmosphere beautiful inside the restaurant. I especially loved the interaction with the waiter and when he quotes someone that drinking champagne is like drinking the stars.
As a whole, I think the movie kept the essence of the novel and for those of you who are pure movie-goers, I think this movie can stand on its own too.