The Fault in Our Stars Review
Reviewed by Jordan Smith.
Damn it all. This is worse than the time that I watched the second Twilight film and enjoyed it. Actually, it’s probably not that bad because this film is pretty well respected by film critics and audiences members alike. Fine then, you win this round Tumblr. But it’s the last time that you do! The Fault in Our Stars is a film I didn’t want to like and I shouldn’t have liked. It’s made up of the most tiresome clichés and some atrociously unoriginal dialogue that appeal to a large market of teenagers of both genders. Unfortunately for me, the atrocious dialogue and tiresome clichés are largely restricted to the first eight, pretty slow and borderline awful, minutes. The rest of the film says ‘yes, we know we’re being cliché. But that’s what young people do a surprising amount of the time, they quote clichéd lines because they can be soppy romantics that are head over heels for a girl/guy and they don’t know what else do to’. And this works surprisingly well. The film knows that a few of its lines are cheesy and cliché and its characters know it too but they don’t give a damn; why should they? They’re in love. And so, despite myself, I ended up enjoying the film an awful lot. I’ll never live this down.
The Fault in Our Stars is directed by Josh Boone and written by Scott Neustadter and Michael. H Weber based on the popular book of the same name. The film is about two ‘star-crossed lovers’ as they fall in love and the complications of this because they both have terminal cancer. The main bulk of the story focuses on the two characters first meeting, travelling to Amsterdam to meet an author that they admire and then the aftermath of their trip and the way that they deal with the reality of what is happening to them.
Because I’m told by fans that I should cry at this book and therefore the film, I didn’t end up doing so but that’s because I was expected to. It is a very emotionally charged drama though and it does it well.
The acting in the film, though I didn’t expect it to be, is fantastic. I’ve not seen the vast majority of these actors in action before but I can see why Shailene Woodley is being fast tracked for success in the film industry. She’s pretty fantastic. Though I can help but see her as a mixture of other actresses. Is it just me or is she like a mishmash of Lindsey Lohan before she went nuts and Jennifer Lawrence? Probably just me. Enough waffle. Ansel Elgort, really weird name, has an awful lot of charisma and I suppose that’s the point. He’s fantastic in this and he’s very enjoyable to watch. The chemistry between Woodley and Elgort is what makes their relationship so believable, so there’s great acting there. The supporting cast all do an excellent job as well and naturally, who doesn’t love Willem Dafoe? He portrays the author of the book that the two lead characters bond over and is their main reason for going on their trip.
Although the first few minutes are awful, it really is a slow start filled with groan-inducing clichés, things quickly pick up and the majority of the screenplay is engaging and doesn’t have the characters throwing out awful lines for the most part. There’s not really too much I can say about the directing in this one, I always find it a little difficult when nothing stands out to me in the film but hey, the film’s decent so something went right other than the screenplay and the casting… and the acting. It was also nice seeing a place I had been to, the Anne Frank Museum, on film. So that was sort of cool. I’ve not really watched too many films that deal with the subject of cancer. The only other one that comes to mind is the film starring Joseph-Gordon Levitt called 50/50. And that’s a slightly different mishmash of genres so I can’t really compare the two films. But as far as I can tell, the subject matter is dealt with very well just as it was within the novel.
Everything about this film had a great big warning sign over it for me. But it’s good. Put away your pitchforks. You know who you are. The Fault in Our Stars is a good film. I can’t say if it’s a good adaptation or not because I haven’t read the book. But the book did well and the film is making a bomb at the box office and the critics love it so… yeah. One would assume so? I liked it. And that’s the last time I’ll say that out loud.