Friday, June 13, 2014

Page to Screen: The Fault in Our Stars

My first movie review. Yay!!!
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
I just came home from watching The Fault in Our Stars. I dragged my poor boyfriend to see it with me and my cousin who initially got me to read TFIOS. I truly enjoyed this movie. I would have enjoyed it more had we not been unfortunate enough to be sitting in front of a large group of loud pre-teens who clearly snuck in from another movie. But that's besides the point. Theater etiquette is a rant that I'm not willing to go into here.
For anyone who read my book review of TFIOS, you'll know that though I enjoyed the book, I was not as impressed by it like so many others nor do I think that the book deserves the crazy, insane hype that it gets. Neither book nor movie made me cry. However, in comparison, I definitely liked the movie better - I know, crazy right? What book geek ever says the movie's better? But it's true this time around.
If you haven't read the book or seen the movie, proceed with caution or avert your eyes.
As with any book to movie adaptation, there were parts that were taken out or changed. A lot of the lines were fairly word for word and all the best quotes were kept in. One thing that was taken out of the movie that I thought was a particularly good choice was the decision to remove the Caroline Mathers storyline. In the book, Gus says that he was staring at Hazel during support group when they met because she looked like Caroline. Note: I don't own a copy of this book; I borrowed it from my cousin. So I don't remember if he said Hazel looked like her or reminded him of her and I can't check. Either way, I thought that storyline was a bit on the weird side. Regardless of the fact that Gus loved Hazel as herself and not because of her similarities to Caroline, I thought that whole storyline was a downer on their relationship. I'm glad they took that out.
Another thing that I'm glad that they changed for the movie was they made Hazel and Augustus less pretentious than they were in the book. The movie portrayals made them seem more like real teenagers. They weren't spewing SAT vocab in every sentence and there were no silly debates over the symbolic connotations behind why certain food is considered breakfast foods and some aren't. I loved that they made the characters in the movie more like real teenagers - with teenager-y feelings and reactions. It just didn't come off to me that way in the book. The book seemed to focus more on the 'wise-beyond-their-years' trait than them just being intelligent teens.
One part I wished they hadn't changed was details after Augustus's cancer comes back. While reading the book, I thought Augustus' death was fairly abrupt. Like, he was sick for a couple of chapters, they just have his pre-funeral, then the next chapter says he died. In the movie, a lot of the details leading up his death were taken out making it even more abrupt. It seems that the movie focused more on the love story rather than the characters' inevitable death. This makes it slightly easier and less heartbreaking to watch but still, I would have liked those details kept in. Particularly, Hazel's hunt for Gus' letter. I dunno, it felt like she had a better closure in the book than in the movie where Van Houten just hands her the letter. Also the book ends with, Hazel saying "I do" in answer to Gus' letter, doesn't it? I liked those last words better rather than, "Okay."
I have to say that the cast were each perfect for their roles. Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort were the perfect Hazel and Augstus. Shailene though, holy crap beans, can she act. She made Hazel for me. The way she portrayed certain things like excitement over going to Amsterdam, yelling at Van Houten (both times), crying over Gus' death was just amazing. She was just perfect in the role. Especially during Augustus' pre-funeral. If there was a time at all when I almost cried in the movie, it was then. Ansel Elgort was also the epitome of Augustus. He was the perfect blend of sweet, cute, and funny. When he was semi-freaking out during on the plane, he was adorable. I wanted to hug him. Nat Wolff was good too. Between him and Augustus, they carried the humor throughout the film during just the right times. Shout outs also to Laura Dern and Sam Trammell as Hazel's parents. I thought they needed more screen time just because I liked them that much.
The movie itself was visually beautiful. Each scene was picture perfect. Especially the restaurant date. Although they weren't seated outside by the river as in the book, the restaurant décor was stunning and gave off a beautifully, magical effect that complemented the idea of them drinking bottled stars. I also loved that the movie both opened and closed with Hazel gazing at the stars. I don't remember the actual fault in our stars line in the movie though. I could have missed it though - bad theater etiquette and all. Also, I loved the text bubbles. They were a feature that could have been awkward but were really fun and quirky.
If you haven't seen this movie yet, I definitely recommend it. It's worth the exorbitant amount of money that movie tickets go for these days and you won't regret it. Warning though, if you're prone to tears (like my cousin is, apparently) bring tissues. But if you're like me, try not to laugh too obviously at the girls crying ugly tears all over the place. I know I'm really awful - I'm sorry; it takes a lot to get me to cry over a book or a movie.
By the way, did you catch John Green's cameo? I must have missed it but I also didn't know when to look. Anyway, what were your thoughts on the movie? Like, dislike, better than the book?


  1. I have a mentor who told me that she liked the movie better than the book as well.
    She said something about being able to feel Hazel's side more even when the book was written based on her point of view.
    I'm unable to give my two cents as I haven't watched the movie -,-

    1. That's exactly how I felt! I felt both Hazel and Augustus more through the movie than I did in the book. It's a good movie. I definitely enjoyed it. =)


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