Monday, 16 June 2014

The Fault In Our Stars - review

Screenings of The Fault In Our Stars should come with a flood warning as I was nearly drowned by the sea of tears that were shed by the audience during the Cineworld Unlimited Preview that I watched.

I honestly haven't heard that much audible weeping in a cinema screen since the opening day of The Phantom Menace.

Based on the very popular book by John Green, I know because it came out during by sabbatical from the cinema spent at Waterstones, it tells the love story between Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) and Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort) who meet at a cancer support group.

It was once said "for never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Romeo" but this pair of star-crossed lovers would give them a damn good run for their money. Not since Marley and Me has a movie set an audience up for a guaranteed teary ending to a story.

Scripted by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, the duo behind (500) Days Of Summer, this is Love Story written for the John Hughes generation.

Both lead characters say incredibly cool, witty things all the time, have an inherent sense of humour even in the face of death, have a buddy sidekick who dresses and acts like a young John Cusack/Anthony Michael Hall-type, talk about Peter Gabriel songs and bond over a book (an actual physical novel!), which prompts a "Make A Wish" adventure resulting in the number one example of the old adage "never meet your heroes".

With elements like that it quite easily could have become oh-so-achingly-hipster and twee but the performances and chemistry between Woodley and Elgort really helps to sell the dialogue and their relationship... once you get over the fact that only two months ago you were watching them as brother and sister in Divergent.

It is not all sweetness and light though as while it is ok for these characters to make (breaking) bad jokes about cancer there was one particular moment which stood out as completely unrealistic and in poor taste and that was the moment that Hazel kisses Gus for the first time... in the attic of Anne Frank's house! Followed by awkward crowd clapping and cheering?!

Or the what I think the unintentionally funny moment when the couple are about to have sex and Gus, who lost part of his leg to cancer, tells Hazel as she undresses him that "it ends just above the knee" *cue sniggering at the back*

However they are rare missteps in an otherwise smart, funny film that is full of life and knows that the Big L is more important than the Big C.

4 stars

1 comment:

  1. What do I say. Have no words for the book or the author. One of the best books I have read in recent times and a great author I have come across. Thumbs Up to John Green and to The Fault In Our Stars. Wow :)