Film Review – The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

Fault - post

Title – The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

Director – Josh Boone (Stuck in Love)

Cast – Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe

Plot – Terminally ill cancer sufferer Hazel Lancaster (Woodley) strikes up a relationship with cancer survivor and charming teenage boy Augustus Waters (Elgort). A journey of love, life and loss begins between the two star crossed lovers.

 “I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable”

Review by Eddie on 30/10/2014

At the risk of sounding like some type of Grinch or cold hearted meanie, The Fault in Our Stars left me strangely unaffected. Sure there are many moments within this cancer set tale that are quiet emotional but to say that they are overwhelming affecting would be a lie for the Fault in Our Stars is a well-made movie with some fine acting especially by Shailene Woodley but nothing here struck me as wholly original and when you look at the success of the John Green source material, it feels like there was more for this movie to give.

I can’t claim to have read Green’s book but from many acquaintances that have, it seemed like a witty, smart and touching tale of young love and the horrible disease that is cancer. It would be interesting to hear from those people that were touched by the book and there experience with this film for while as mentioned Woodley is great in her role as Hazel Grace Lancaster all other players feel somewhat slight and untrue with Ansel Elgort’s Augustus a fast talking and hyperactive persona who is supposed to be endearing, but comes off as an untrue like love interest. Hazel and Gus’s relationship should’ve felt more engaging here as well and unlike the book it seems to have missed the mark in making a love story for the ages and for young teenagers everywhere. Dialogue also that may have popped off the page in the book feels a little tripe on screen and comes off as either to mawkish or grandstanding to ring true for the viewer.

Without Woodley’s top notch performance the film finds some much needed intrigue in the important yet not overly used Willem Dafoe as Amsterdam based author Peter Van Houten. Dafoe’s character is sadly far more interesting than Augustus ever is and it shows up the fact that this central figure is less the sum of his parts. Director Boone also gives the film a nice feel, his direction is breezy and effective (although there is an overuse of an Indie set music soundtrack) and in material that could of gone full steam ahead on all things Nicholas Sparks like, it’s nice that he doesn’t overplay things although at times as mentioned things feel a little too cold and you start to wonder just what you’re supposed to be taking away from all of this sadness?

A great movie for teenage girls and all those with similar emotional ties, Fault in our Stars is a nice movie but that’s about it. Woodley is the main reason to watch this film as she is consistently showcasing an acting talent that blows most other young performers out of the water, yet the film could’ve been so much more than the Hallmark tale it has seemingly ended up as. Mind you perhaps I am just a Grinch or a cold hearted meanie? As when this tale ended, so did my thinking about it and this movie clearly wanted to be a life affirming journey that makes people hug there closest by loved one.

2 and a half un-lit cigarettes out of 5

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13 responses to “Film Review – The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

  1. Don’t feel bad about not liking this movie or John Green’s novels. I’m always afraid my librarian card will be taken away when I admit that I haven’t been able to finish one of his books. They are just not my thing. But people who like those kinds of stories seem to love his stuff. I did read “Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl” which is also about a cancer patient and friends (and has just been optioned as a movie as well) but contains more swearing and fart jokes so, ya know, more on par with what it was like for me as a teen.

    • This one felt really unrealistic right down to these cancer sufferers looking strangely healthy for the most part. The dialogue felt pretty tripe as well which may be the case with his novels. Hopefully this new one being made is a little more close to the truth 🙂
      E

  2. I’m obviously not the target audience for this, but I was really looking forward to this one based on the hype by people who are the target audience (non-males).

    Man, what a huge disappointment. Though, it’s still more enjoyable than Zero Theorem, which I caught last night and what a shocker that was. Definitely the disappointment for the year for me! Terry GIlliam’s lost the plot!

    • I felt very much the same Tuan! I was actually finding myself really keen to catch this one especially after the solid reviews. But overall it was pretty hookey!

      As for Zero Theorem my review for that was actually maybe to nice but it was horrible on virtually every level. Gilliam needs to find somewhere to retire before he sinks any lower.
      E

  3. Good review Eddie. I was probably a bit too generous to this when I first saw it all those months back. I gave it a 5, but honestly, it pissed me off so much that I just should have crapped on it like I wanted to do. Missed opportunities, I guess.

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  5. Well, I haven’t watched the movie yet, but I have read the book, and was very disappointed. The book was being hyped all over the social networks that I finally had bought and read it this year. It was a fast and easy read, but I couldn’t understand the hype. I also wondered if I am perhaps too cold-hearted, but I am actually a person who cries because of the tiniest things :’D
    For me, it was a bit typcial that setting of cancer kids falling in love. I don’t know, I just expected something better from the story. And the whole Van Houten thing confused me a bit.
    Still, I think John Green is actually a quite good author. I have read Paper Towns just recently (which is also going to be filmed), and I liked it way better than TFIOS.

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