Review: The Fault In Our Stars (2014)

the fault in our stars poster

“I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”
– Augustus Waters

Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) has cancer, and she has been nothing but terminal her whole life. Her mother, Frannie (Laura Dern), is convinced that Hazel is depressed, and her doctor agrees. Hazel is also forced to go to a support group, which she absolutely hates but goes to because it makes her parents happy. Hazel is sure that she is never going to be a regular teenager, and has sort of come to terms with that. However, one day at group, she meets the insanely gorgeous and witty Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort). She thinks he is gorgeous, but that she doesn’t stand a chance. Augustus has survived his cancer, though it was at the cost of his leg. After group Augustus makes it clear to Hazel that he likes her and that he finds her beautiful, and she feels herself getting reeled in by him. Her mother, naturally, is happy that she is making friends. Visiting at Augustus’s house after group, she tells him about her favourite book, An Imperial Affliction, and he vows to read it if she reads a novelisation of his favourite video game.

the fault in our stars meeting gus

“Even though you have freaking cancer, you are willing to give money to corporation for a chance to acquire even more cancer? Let me just assure you that not being able to breathe? Sucks. Totally disappointing. Totally.” – Hazel Grace Lancaster

Hazel soon becomes sad when Augustus does not contact her, and she starts to think that it was just something to fade away, a great afternoon. Augustus finally talks to her about her book, something he enjoyed immensely. Their mutual friend Isaac (Nat Wolff) has just been broken up with by his girlfriend Monica (Emily Peachey), just before he is to go in for eye cancer and lose his eyesight completely. Hazel and Augustus bond some more. Augustus contacts Peter Van Houten (Willen Dafoe), author of  An Imperial Affliction, to ask him some questions about what happened. He is not given answers, but Hazel is thrilled by the fact that Augustus contacted Van Houten. She, too, sends a mail to the address, and soon receives a reply that Van Houten cannot answer her questions via email, but should she ever find herself in Amsterdam she should pop by. Hazel desperately wants to go, though she is very ill and her mother and father, Michael (Sam Trammell), cannot afford it. Hazel lets it go, but Augustus won’t. He contacts the Genies and uses his wish for them: get them to Amsterdam to meet with Van Houten so that he can answer all their questions pertaining to the end of his book.

the fault in our stars gus and hazel

“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world…but you do have some say in who hurts you.” – Augustus Waters

Hazel gets really sick before the trip, ending up in the ICU. Augustus cannot see her, and she is crushed when the doctors tell her the Amsterdam trip is most certainly off. Hazel starts to avoid Augustus, which hurts him. She does not want to cause him heartbreak, she knows that she is going to die and refuses to be responsible for his pain. Ultimately, though, she and Augustus see each other again, and he makes it abundantly clear that he does not give a damn whether she thinks she is a grenade that will hurt him or whatever, he wants to spend time with her, even if she is only willing to be friends. As a surprise, Hazel finds out that the Amsterdam trip is back on, and she is thrilled. In Amsterdam she irrevocably falls in love with Augustus, forgetting about the grenade theory, accepting that they both might hurt each other. In Amsterdam, though, things don’t go as planned because Van Houten turns out to be an absolute douchebag and a let down, Hazel and Augustus get closer than ever, and some dark secrets spill out between them, crushing both of them. Hazel has been so focused on the fact that she is sick that is never occurred to her that Augustus may get sick again, that they both may end up terminal.

the fault in our stars eggs

“The world is not a wish-granting factory.” – Augustus Waters

Why was Van Houten so terrible? What will Hazel do now that something she has always loved has turned out to be so tainted? Is their trip to Amsterdam ruined because of the jerky author? Will Hazel and Augustus be able to make the best of the time that they have together? Now that they are back to both fighting cancer, will Augustus overcome his a second time? How long will Hazel be able to go on before finally succumbing to her disease?

the-fault-in-our-stars02

“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” – Hazel Grace Lancaster

GRADE 8This was a very good adaption of the book, so any fear I had of that being messed with has been allayed. Let me put it out there, I too, like Cara, am a stone cold bitch. Nary a tear in sight from me, and that is okay. The rest of the theatre was snivelling, but that is not what I was there for. I was there to see Hazel Grace and Augustus brought to screen, and let me tell you that I was not disappointed in the slightest. Shailene Woodley was a fantastic Hazel, and she did wonders with the material. Ansel Elgort, however, stole the whole show for me. He is the most perfect actor to have cast to play the amazing and weak-knee-inducing Augustus Waters. He had the attitude, the smile, he had it all working for him. There are other cast members that need some shine, too, such as Nat Wolff, who was just a brilliant Isaac, and Sam Trammell and Laura Dern for playing Hazel’s parents Michael and Frannie perfectly. I do wish that Isaac had been given more screen time, he was a simply hilarious character and I thought he was wonderfully cast. I was not a fan of the soundtrack (sorry, but really, really cheesy, though I guess it is exactly what it needs to be, given the type of film), but it was used only when required. I enjoyed the way the film was shot, subtly, with things being emphasised where necessary, but not shoving it down your throat. Some of the humorous scenes from the book were perfectly captured here, which was a joy. Just in case you missed it somehow, I really despise romance movies and chick flicks and all, and this may tick all those boxes, I must also say that this was a story that I fell in love with when I read the book. There was a bit that was cut out of the book when the film was made, but nothing as daunting as the major butchering of things such as Harry Potter (just saying). They did not detract from the story, though I wish that more was done to hint at Augustus and what was to come, etc. Needless to say, it is worth the watch.

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43 thoughts on “Review: The Fault In Our Stars (2014)

  1. theipc says:

    Sweetest JBSB,

    I don’t think this is one for me LOL… I’m happy you liked it!! But I think I’ll pass on this grass.

    Love,

    SSC

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  2. Abbi says:

    I never actually watched this. I wasn’t feeling well on Monday night so I decided to stay home. I probably will go sometime over the weekend. I do like Shailene Woodley.

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  3. garylee828 says:

    This is my #1 film of 2014, thus far; i would rate it 9 out of 10. I am glad you liked it, as well. But Zoe, please, head this with “SPOILERS”. You basically gave everything away. lol.

    I know those who read the book already know everything you mentioned, but I had not read the book and went into the movie cold, and so all the events that took place surprised me as I had no idea what to expect. That’s another reason why this movie worked so well for me b/c if like me, you went in cold, it really was unpredictable. I had no idea what to expect and this didn’t feel like a typical mainstream film where you know exactly what’s about to transpire. That’s what makes this movie work so well.

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    • Zoë says:

      Thanks Gary. It was a good one. I would not necessarily say spoilers. That whole things with Gus came up both halfway through the movie as well as the book.

      Yes, I must say that the book surprised me too, it is a phenomenal read. This movie was a very solid adaption of it, which I appreciate, a lot of movies miss the essence of what it is all about.

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      • garylee828 says:

        I hear you, but here’s the thing for a viewer like me. The movies I enjoy watching the most are ones that take me in unexpected directions throughout the entire story. When I’m walking through my house in the middle of the night, I like to know where I’m going; when I am walking through a new movie I like to not know where I’m going. I loved “Head-On” b/c I never knew what was about to happen next…

        Point being, a spoiler can give away details of the story without giving away the ending. You could give away the direction a story takes in the first or middle act. In “Fault in our Stars” I was surprised throughout the entire story, which is why it clicked for me. But, and don’t take this the wrong way, if I had read your review prior to viewing, I don’t think I would have liked the film half as much b/c so many of the details were revealed in your entry. I’m just saying that “spoilers” is more than just the ending, but can be plot development, as well. I had this same discussion with Isaacs a while ago and he saw where I was coming from and now usually inserts “spoilers” before he delves too deep into details; he actually is really good with that now. I don’t think he’s revealed too many details without a spoiler warning since our dialogue. 🙂

        At the end of the day it’s your blog of course, and you or any other blogger can write about as many or as little details as you like; i just wanted to point out that for people like me, revealing too many details of a film can take away from the experience of watching those details unfold on-screen. Just something to think about. Or simply discard. 🙂

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    • Natasha says:

      You know, I think that criticism is always helpful. However , on this topic I have to side with Zoe. I’ve never actually found any real spoilers on here because Z really hates spoilers. Also, when I’m very wary of reading something that gives a movie away, I will steer clear until I’ve seen it and then read afterwards. Because, hey, this is the Internet 🙂

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  4. snapcracklewatch says:

    Great review, I was waiting to read what you thought about this! Glad you liked it, I know how much you liked the book, so the fact that it lived up to your expectations is great. I love that feeling! When a book is done justice and not slaughtered and turned into a corny movie.

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  5. caragale says:

    Yaaaayyyy I wasn’t the only one who didn’t cry!!! Bahaha. Thanks for the shoutout, lady! Sounds like you might have enjoyed this one a bit more than me. I wonder…do you think it’s because you read the book? If I ever get around to reading it, maybe some of my criticisms will change…either way, this is a good one for sure. Great review! 🙂

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    • Zoë says:

      Teehee, no you were not alone in the stone dry, tearless state! Anytime. I do think that I enjoyed it more because of the book, it was something Elina and I spoke about the other day. It sort of misses something without the book, even though it is still a good movie. Thank you so much. I would highly recommend the book!

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  6. elina says:

    Great review!! I cried like a very silent baby. I didn’t really like the film so much as I enjoyed seeing the characters and story come to life on a cinema screen. I’m really happy with the actors, too, absolutely in on your Elgort love! 😀

    PS. I saw my name in that reply you wrote above and squealed — you are such a wonderful member in this community, Zoe!!

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    • Zoë says:

      Thanks Elina! I am with you on that one, I think it was more about seeing it than anything else. I think it loses a lot without the book to be honest. Ahhhhh he was amazing!

      Why thank you ever so kindly! 😛

      Like

  7. Tom says:

    Sorry Zoe, I lied. I tried to get to reading this before seeing the movie but again, I let time get in the way once more. lol

    So I’d like to speak from the point of view of someone who hasn’t read the book. This was freaking excellent. And I couldn’t be more appalled by your lack of tears!! I felt like a 15 year old high school girl watching Dawson’s Creek watching this, the tears were coming in abundance. Esp toward the end. The mock funeral scene about put a fork in me. I was done. I do, however, think sometimes these kinds of moments in movies are very manufactured and I don’t typically cry, even when I know I probably should be (The Passion of the Christ; Saving Private Ryan). But every emotion I felt here was earned. I give my praise to everyone involved.

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    • Zoë says:

      Awwwww, it’s all good. You should totally finish it sometime though!

      I am thrilled to hear that you liked it so much! Haha, I really just don’t feel things like that in movies (I cannot explain it). Teehee, that mock funeral was beautiful. Again, though, I read the book, and there were scenes that almost got me there, close, but no cigar. You are right in that assessment, very often it is forcefully manufactured!

      Heading over to your review now!

      Like

  8. table9mutant says:

    Great review, Zoe! I’ll probably go to it this week. Glad to hear they’ve done a good job adapting this. Like you and Cara, I’m a bit of a stone cold bitch as well so I think I can leave the tissues at home. ; ) #stonecoldbitchesrule

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    • Zoë says:

      Thank you lady! I would love to hear your thoughts on it! You read the book, too, right?

      If you’ve read it you can totally skip the tissues! 😉

      #damnstraightwedo

      Like

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