Before I get into my thoughts on The Fault in Our Stars movie, I want to say that I’ve seen a lot of films based on books and most of them did not do the book justice at all. Even the film for Perks of Being a Wallflower, my favorite book of all-time, did not blow me out of the water. This is not the case with The Fault in Our Stars.
Granted, this film wasn’t perfect, but it certainly depicted John Green’s best-selling novel in every aspect. Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort captured the romance between Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters flawlessly. They had such a strong, beautiful connection that surprisingly didn’t feel forced or flat. When I was watching them, it truly felt like the romance from the book was coming to life before my very eyes.
Aside from their romance, one of the reasons why I fell in love with The Fault in Our Stars book was the way Hazel and Augustus spoke about their struggle with cancer. Green portrayed them as very philosophical characters and I’m really glad some of those deep thoughts were included in the dialogue. Though they were more inquisitive and introspective in the book, I was very happy to see that Woodley and Elgort captured that essence.
However, just because I was content with the acting, doesn’t mean I didn’t walk away with some convictions. The main issue that I found was the way the film was written. It was totally rushed. I felt like if I didn’t read the book, I wouldn’t have understood the different timeline. I also felt like there were certain parts that took place at different times in the book. I felt like if they stuck with the original story arc and added a bit more context to the plot, the film would have felt a lot smoother.
Another part I disliked was the scenes with Peter Vanhoutan (Willem DaFoe). DaFoe always puts on an incredible performance but I really don’t think he was the right fit for Vanhoutan. The scene where Hazel and Augustus meet Vanhoutan for the first time and realize he’s a drunk asshole was supposed to be very emotive but I just didn’t feel the reactions from any of the characters. This was especially the case with Gus (Elgort) but I think part of it was because there wasn’t much theatrics coming from DaFoe.
Though I do think these drawbacks are important to mention, they do not take away from how beautiful this film was. Everything from the music to the editing to the aesthetics were extremely well done. In the Sun Times, Richard Roeper said that he hopes Shailene Woodley wins an Oscar for her portrayal as Hazel. I totally agree but I feel like Elgort, the rest of the supporting cast, and the music should be included on this list too. Writer and Producer Josh Boone should be really proud because he did a phenomenal job of bringing Green’s story to the silver screen.
Rating: 8 out of 10
As the Managing Editor, Lauren Stern is responsible for curating Pop-Break.com’s content. This includes managing the editorial staff, coordinating the content calendar, and assigning publishing dates and deadlines. She graduated Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism and Philosophy. She spends her free time searching for the best gluten-free food in the Tri-State area, playing with her dogs, and reading an insane amount of books. She tweets constantly about pop culture and social issues and hopes you follow her musings @laurenpstern.