Movie: “The Fault in Our Stars” Genre: Young Adult (YA) and Romance
I have to establish a few facts before I go on writing an article on this movie. One, I unfortunately was unable to read the book so I will be unable to comment on how well the book transitioned into film (something that is often an important thing for me to do). Secondly, the first thing I said about this movie was “I don’t like cancer movies”.
The heavy medical talk and constant knowledge that your beloved characters will, most likely, die at the end is something that I am not a fan of to be completely honest. I’m not a fan of sappy happy endings, but sad ones are even worse. Movies such as these just turn me into a puddle of tears in the movie theatre.
However, The Fault in Our Stars, which was adapted from John Green’s best seller, surpassed my expectations. With all these YA novels being turned into movies, it would seem that Green’s book is just one drop in a sea. Yet, the unique plot and deepness of this story drew
in in a more mature way, even if it did turn me into a puddle of tears at the end.
The book follows Hazel Grace Lancaster (yes, of course I use her full name) who is currently dealing with a form of terminal cancer. Depression follows with this and her outlook on life darkened by the fact that her life will be short. Then she meets Augustus Waters, a young man who had survived a spat with cancer and is, perhaps, one of the most optimistic and charming characters I have ever met.
This rough outline of the plot seems to explain itself: two people united by cancer as they suffer together. Not so. As Hazel says in the film, which solidified my belief that this film, “you just have a touch of cancer”.
Green’s adapted book shows to be much more than a simple cancer movie. Cancer does sit in the background as a conflicting force against the two lovers, but it doesn’t overwhelm the elegant plot. It seems that The Fault in Our Stars mixes together cancer, teen love, drama, and fun into a movie that is enjoyable to watch even when sad.
I think any disease, disorder, or handicap could have been implanted into the story and the plot could have still worked quite the same way. If I had to choose parallels for this film, I would choose films such as The Notebook (but with more fun) or, more specifically, the indie film Mozart and the Whale rather than films like My Sister’s Keeper or 50/50. This romantic film finds two misfit characters (as is popular with YA films and novels these days) forming a relationship that is both friendship and love in a dark scenario.
Another fact I’d like to address is the simple facts about life that are taught in the plot as well. A thing you should know about me is that I loathe romantic movies. They just are too sappy and/or make me sad about my own love life. Yet, The Fault in Our Stars’ lovers had a fun relationship before it went entirely lovey-dovey that kept me interested. However, the metaphors (that Green must love as much as his character Gus) and messages within the film are very deep.
These characters, such as Hazel, have a clear understanding that death is unavoidable and that for them it’s going to come soon. Yet, the importance of living a life worth living becomes more and more important to them as they find reasons to live. A lover, family, and friends become motivators to lead a good life while they’re here and that even though death is inevitable, life happens too.
For a romantic film, The Fault in Our Stars proves to invoke strong emotions as well as relating to viewers. The beauty of life and love is definitely the foreground of this film, with cancer only working as a common villain for the protagonists to overcome (and sometimes not) rather than the dictator of their lives.