Starring: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Willem Dafoe
Directed by: Josh Boone
Written by: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 2 hr 5 min
As I left the theater, wiping the tears from my face I wondered if I could do this film any justice with my review. Because what I saw was mature, very well written and acted, and never once resorted to being overly melodramatic or deliberately exploitative with the audience’s emotions. The Fault in Our Stars simply delivers perfectly written characters that you can identify with and care about. Characters that are a joy to spend time with, even though we know they are going to break our hearts.
The fault in Our Stars takes an all-encompassing look at how cancer impacts the lives of the people it infects, and the families who support them. Performances from Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort are incredibly touching, and this story of young love amidst tragedy simply wouldn’t have worked without their unique chemistry.
Supporting performances too were very good, especially from Laura Dern as a parent looking to find meaning in her daughters illness. The understanding both she and Shailene Woodley show in their scenes together was amazing to watch. On the one side a mother that wants to grant her child every wish, and feels genuine pain when she can’t. On the other a thoughtful daughter who understands this, and tries to do everything she can to make her parents happy. Even when that means attending support group sessions, which she hates.
This is certainly a tearjerker so if you enjoy a good cry at the movies this is the flick for you. I have not read the book the film is based on, but I understand it’s pretty faithful to the source material. If you’re a fan of the book, I think you’ll be pretty happy with how the film turned out. I’m just not sure you’d want to take this emotional journey again.
This isn’t an overly visual experience, and would be serviced well enough in the comfort of your own home on your TV, laptop, or tablet. You’d also be free to have a good cry in the privacy of your own home! If you can’t wait for the rental, then maybe take in a less crowded matinée performance.
Best Moment: << mild spoiler >>
I loved this one scene between Frannie (Laura Dern) and Hazel (Shailene Woodley) where Hazel is excited at the possibility of going to meet her favorite author, and Frannie has to say no to the request. It perfectly demonstrates the understanding these great actors had, and they both communicate the varied range of emotions in this scene mostly without dialog.