Friday, June 13, 2014

Movie Review: The Fault in Our Stars

It's been exactly one week since the release of the book-to-big-screen adaptation of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars and it seems to be all anyone can talk about - me included. There are a million and one things to say about this movie but at the same time, I feel like there is one sentence that just about sums it up (for me): It was better than the book.

Hey, whoa! Hold your fire - put down your pitchforks or tomatoes, or whatever you were going to throw at me after that blasphemous statement. I know what you're thinking - you run a book blog, you ninny! How can you say that a movie was better than the book!? Well, let me explain.

For those of you who know me, you know that I'm not John Green's biggest fan. I won't get into here because this is a movie review, not a book review, but I've read one other book of his besides TFiOS and I don't plan on reading anymore unless it comes highly recommended from a trusted source. With that being said, I enjoyed TFiOS (the book) a lot, and definitely connected with the characters and the story. I was a blubbering mess by the end, but the fact that it was so pretentious and even "too smart" for me, if you will, it left me with a "meh" overall.

I handed the book over to my sister, Chelsea, who is 17 years old, so she is the target audience for this book in the truest sense of the term. She absolutely adored the book, was beyond excited and obsessed with seeing this movie, while I was just expecting a pleasant adaptation in which I would shed a few tears. Alas, I was wrong.

We went to the premiere the night before (10:00 p.m., not midnight. You should know my feelings about this. I hate non-midnight showings.), completely unprepared in the tissue department, and in the mental and emotional fortitude department. If I'd know what I was about to experience at the hands of a movie, I would've brought several boxes of tissues and started chanting "My name is Celaena Sardothien and I will not be afraid" on the ride over.

In my opinion, the movie, by leaving small details from the book out (which usually pisses me off) made the story so much more relatable, the characters so much more believable. Not once did I feel annoyed at Gus and Hazel's dialogue or their "disdain for the conventional" as the movie description so eloquently puts it.

I fell in love with Gus in a way that I never really was able to with the book. I related to Hazel so much more, just as a girl struggling with the life she was given. As TFiOS fans always say, this is a cancer movie, but it isn't. It's about so much more than that.

And I know what you're all wondering: did it make us cry? If you've already seen this, you should know the answer to that question. For those of you who haven't seen it yet - let me paint a picture for you: picture a theater full of women (and the occasional man), more than half of whom have read the book and know what to expect. Fast forward and picture the scene in Amsterdam when Gus delivers his shocking news to Hazel. Picture a hundred women, tears streaming down their faces, sniffling for almost an hour straight. Picture the ending, where these hundred women are now holding in their ugly cry... orrrr not holding it in. Some were downright sobbing. It was a mess, but it was wonderful. When we walked out of the theater, every last person coming out had a red face and swollen eyes.

AND THEN... I went to see it again. We took my mother this time, who cried basically the whole time. Even before the bad news. She happy cried through all the wonderful parts in the beginning, when Gus is being his swoon-worthy self, pretty much all the way through to the end. My mother, a woman of very few words, gave this movie 5 out of 5 stars. She loved it!

I also took this opportunity to ask my sister what she thought about the movie, her being, as I said, the target audience for the book itself. This is what she had to say:

"It's such a realistic love story, it just hits all the right spots. [I] may sound biased because I'm an emotional teenage girl, but there is no way this book/movie does not his a sore spot for any person with a soul. I have never felt so sad yet so enlightened after watching a movie/reading a book until TFiOS and for so long after. I have to say... the movie was better than the book. There were little details in the book that weren't necessary for the movie to be absolutely outstanding. With that being said, [I give this movie] 5 out of 5 stars. The movie significantly better."

So HA! See - I'm not delusional!

No, but really - this is coming from someone who adored the book, as compared to me who liked it but didn't absolutely adore it.

All in all, this movie was amazing enough to go see twice, and if I'm being completely honest, I might go see it one more time before it's out of theaters. It was just that good.

TFiOS goes down in my history books as one of the best (if not the best) book-to-movie adaptation I've ever seen. I loved it and I recommend it for fans of John Green and everyone else in the world, even if you've never heard of John Green or TFiOS.



Did you see this movie yet? What did you think? Was is a disappointment for you, or did you think it was pulled off wonderfully? Are you a huge John Green fan and huge fan of TFiOS or are you somewhat of a skeptic like me? Let's talk about this movie! It was so wonderful that all I want to do is spread the word and discuss the intense feels!


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