Humor, Honesty and Heart in “The Fault in Our Stars”

Move over, Nicholas Sparks: a new author is set to dominate the romance film market. John Green may have a long way to go before matching the “A Walk to Remember” author’s impressive record of bestselling novel turned big screen adaptations, but it looks like he’s off to a pretty good start with the highly anticipated adaptation of “The Fault in Our Stars.”
Based on Green’s 2012 novel of the same name, the film tells the love story of cancer survivor Hazel Grace (Shailene Woodley) and Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort). Yet unlike many recent teenage romance novels, the film also deals with serious themes like sickness, loss and death, all through the eyes of a sixteen-year-old girl.
Managing to echo the idealistic nature of a teenager despite her chronic illness, Shailene Woodley proves to audiences that there is indeed so much more to her talent. In the film, she displays an impressive emotional depth, one that seems awfully absent in several of her contemporaries. Ansel Elgort mixes the charm of Tom Hanks circa You’ve Got Mail with a modern day sex appeal ala Zac Efron, something that makes him both endearing and attractive all at the same time. Yet it is his natural sense of humor and playful banter with onscreen best friend Isaac (Nat Wolff, another memorable portrayal) that make him shine.
As someone who has not yet read the book, it is particularly difficult to judge “The Fault in Our Stars” based on its plot accuracy. Yet if there’s one thing that sets this apart from Nicholas Sparks’ stories, it is realism reminiscent of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in “You’ve Got Mail” that makes the film stand out. Yes, the film may have its fair share of mushy moments, but in the end it manages to tell a very real story of love and loss, one that is awfully relatable no matter whom you are. From making you laugh to making your bawl, TFIOS does it all: what more could you ask for?
Rating: 4 out of 5 (Worth the Watch)

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