Movies don’t make me cry. Plain and simple. At least not since I saw Free Willy when I was 6. And that was more more than 20 years ago.
I’m not telling you this to taut my masculinity. Movies make me feel emotion all of the time. But I have the ability to detach myself just enough so that emotion doesn’t consume me. If a fictional character dies, there’s always something in the back of my head that says … “remember, this isn’t real.”
Well, with The Fault in Our Stars … I still didn’t cry.
But I came as close as humanly possible to crying.
The story is about two kids with cancer who fall in love. It’s an adaptation of the popular book written by John Green. What makes this movie more real than any other romance is because our two protagonists are more than just fictional characters.
For every person who has cancer, there’s 10 people who love them who are fighting it right there with them. It’s a disease that affects so many people.
So to see a tragic story of two lovers plagued by such a familiar disease, it hits home.
And that’s what makes The Fault in Our Stars so easy to connect to.
The movie wouldn’t have worked without perfect casting. And I’d be hard-pressed to think of two better young actors to have portrayed Hazel and Gus than Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort. Let’s face it — we knew Woodley was going to knock it out of the park. She’s been great in every role she’s performed.
But Elgort was the question mark. It was only his fourth movie ever. But apparently he’s a late bloomer because he was terrific, portraying Gus with a quiet air of self-efficacy that was mandatory to personify his character.
The two lead characters are likable not only for sympathetic purposes. But because of their humor. And wit. Throughout the book, they go back-and-forth, playing off each other’s quips and complementing one another perfectly. That same chemistry existed in the movie.
Add a talented supporting cast (Laura Dern, Nat Faxon, Williem Dafoe), a quality soundtrack and just the right amount of voice over, and you have a movie whose quotes are going to be posted on Twitter by hopeless romantics from now until the end of time.
“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world. But you do have some say in who hurts you.”
“I fell in love like you fall asleep. Slow at first … then all at once.”
Poetry to my ears.
The source material was such a great story, that all director Josh Boone had to do was not screw it up.
The result? A very good, tear-jerking movie.