Francesca's Focus: The Fault In Our Stars

Friday, June 6, 2014



Let me start this off with the fact that I am one hundred percent in love with John Green. Er, his stories, at least (also, his personality seems pretty on point as well based on his vlogbrothers videos). It first started with Looking For Alaska in 8th grade and I never looked back, not even after reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson (not a fan, my apologies). I've read all of his books countless times. Hell, my copy of LFA is completely trashed with ripped pages and a broken spine. In short, John Green's stories are nothing short of amazing and I shared them with every possible person I could. I normally don't do this, but I wanted to world to know about my favorite author and his brilliant stories.

I pre-ordered my copy of The Fault In Our Stars as soon as I knew it was available. I read the book in one sitting, loved it, read it again, loved it. When I heard that it was going to be a movie, I geeked out. Then got sad that it wasn't my favorite, Looking For Alaska. Then realized it was stupid to be upset because A JOHN GREEN BOOK WAS BEING MADE INTO A MOVIE. Then I got skeptical because it's a known fact that movie adaptations of books unquestionably suck ass (see: Twilight, not that the books were any good either). Then I continued to geek out. It became a cycle that I was all too involved in.


When I first saw the castings, I didn't know what to think. A book by my favorite author was being made into a movie and it felt like it was my movie too. It shouldn't have felt like it, but I feel like I have such a strong bond between his books that, I dunno, I took a sense of ownership over it. Am I alone here? I digress, I knew nothing about Ansel Elgort, remembered Nat Wolff from the Naked Brothers Band (need I say more about that?), and (thought) I despised Shailene Woodley. My "hatred" for Shailene was solely based off the fact that she was in the terrible television show The Secret Life of the American Teenager. If you've seen that show, you'd know why I was so skeptical about her being cast as Hazel in the movie.

The anticipation for this movie, for me, was almost unbearable. I waited so long for a John Green story to be made into a movie and it was going to happen and waiting for it was torturous. I watched the trailer, read the few interviews that were released, and rewatched every John Green vlog while he was on set far too many times. I fell in love with the actors before I knew them as Gus or Isaac or Hazel. That was key, I think, to make me more comfortable with them playing a set of characters that I came to love so much over the course of reading and rereading the book.

I saw the movie with my mom last night because I am a loser. Kidding, we made a pact as soon as it was announced that there would be a movie. Mostly it was me forcing her to go even though she, quite a few times, told me that she didn't want to see it. My mom claims she hates the book, but not because of the writing or the story. She hates the ending because it makes her sad, not because it's awful. Despite her efforts to try and get out of seeing the movie, we ended up in the back of the theater with our gummy bears and tissues waiting in the wings.

The movie was visually stunning, and I'm not just talking about Ansel Elgort's face. I'm not good at film critiques or anything of that sort, but in my nonprofessional opinion, the way that the movie was filmed and put together was beautiful. Everything flowed, nothing was choppy, yet it all seemed so real. Hazel and Gus' story came to life on the screen and that was enough to keep me smiling for the whole movie, until, you know, the bomb is dropped and I sobbed in my seat (along with the rest of the theater) for what felt like the last half hour of the movie. No biggie.

I'd be surprised if I heard people complaining about the adaptation, because my mom and I fact checked with the book after and weren't disappointed by anything that was left out or thrown in for good measure. I know this isn't John Green's movie, but my gradtitude goes to him anyways for giving us these characters and letting us live vicariously through them and imagine the rest of their stories. I think that with the story, John Green never violated the "contract" between the readers and himself. And for that, and the immense success that he has had already and will have in the future, CHEERS.


2 comments

  1. I'm so glad you went to see this movie with your mom! As soon as I got back from college, my mom could not stop talking about the trailers and how badly she wanted to see it. So, I'll be seeing it with her tonight! I'm so excited! It was actually really funny how I came upon the book. I found a signed copy in my local grocery store and thought "what the hell?" I had no idea it would turn into such a huge production. I literally had post-reading sadness when I finished it though. Ugh, I don't even know if I'm emotionally prepared to see the film.

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    1. Eeek, I hope you enjoyed enjoyed the movie! And by enjoyed I mean didn't cry for longer than 30 minutes. People in my theater were sniffling, I swear, for at least an hour. I honestly felt bad.

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