The Fault In Our Stars Movie Review
Kidzworld saw and reviewed the tragic first love story The Fault in Our Stars. Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort’s strong acting and great chemistry will certainly warm your heart if not break it.
By: Lynn Barker
Every girl dreams of a perfect first love. You will “meet cute”, he’ll be perfect in every way and you’ll live happily ever after. It seems that teen Hazel Grace has met her dream guy in Gus Waters. Too bad that cancer might limit those precious “ever after” days.
Pessimist Meets Optimist
17-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) is depressed and angry. She got thyroid cancer at 13 and it has now spread to her lungs. She tells us that she wants to live like a normal teen but her mom (Laura Dern) has sent her to a lame cancer support group that just makes things worse. Her life is TV reality shows and doctor appointments. Then, in “el lameo” group, she meets Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort), a teen star basketball player who lost a leg to cancer and still lives life to the fullest. His only desire? To avoid oblivion, make a mark on the world and be remembered.
The Book and The Buddy
As her attraction for Gus grows, Hazel meets his buddy Isaac (Nat Wolff) who has already lost one eye to cancer and expects to lose the other one soon. The core of his existence has been his girlfriend who dumps him when it is sure he will go completely blind. While Gus and Hazel share her interest in a very special novel dealing with cancer, the duo helps Isaac through his relationship downer.
It is Hazel’s dream to go to Amsterdam to meet her fave novel’s author Peter Van Houten (Willem Dafoe) to learn what happens after his book’s abrupt ending. Gus sets up a meeting between the two but Hazel will have to travel to Amsterdam and she has already used her “Make a Wish”-style request by going to Disney World when she was 13. Gus uses his wish to get Hazel, himself and her mom to the Dutch city. Hazel, not wanting to let Gus get closer because her coming death could only hurt him, tells him they have to stay just friends.
Romance Blossoms Abroad
After having a super romantic dinner and meeting Van Houten only to find him a bitter and cruel drunk (it was his assistant who actually invited the teens to visit), Hazel and Gus, visit the Anne Frank house (you know, the teen whose inspirational diaries were written while she was hiding from the Nazis), where they share a first kiss. (She’s the one who goes for it!). Later, the two finally make love.
Once the couple is back in the states, Gus reveals a secret that causes their semi-happy world to turn upside down. Will their love survive? Will they?
The Fault in Our Stars strikes a near-perfect balance between emotional upheaval, humor and young romance. It will be a teary-eyed, involving time at the cineplex especially on a date night. Guys! Do not be driven away by the “chick flick” label. If you can’t identify with Hazel, you can with either Gus or his pal Isaac. What happens in this film is very real.
The only flaws I could find in the film must exist in the novel as well. Gus is just too perfect as are his parents. He couldn’t be a better boyfriend/son/friend. We don’t see him really crack until very late in the film and what is he doing “now” to make his mark on the world since that means so much to him and he has limited time?
It’s odd that Hazel has no friends and says she’s going to college classes but never opens a text book. These small shortcomings can easily be shoved aside when we concentrate on the great chemistry, charm and reality that both Shailene and Ansel bring to their roles. Also amazing is Laura Dern as Hazel’s trying-to-keep-it-together mom and Nat Wolff hits a charming and funny homer as friend Isaac.
The film doesn’t talk down to tweens and teens. It doesn’t make first love into superficial “puppy love” but plays it like it is; deep, all-consuming and meaningful. Bring the tissues and some BFFs or a date. The Fault in Our Stars is a welcome break from the usual summer “That-blew-up-real-good” actioners. We go 4 stars.
The Fault In Our Stars Movie Rating:
The Fault in Our Stars is in theaters now!