My sisters were here when The Fault in Our Stars came out in theaters, which meant I was able to ditch the kids with Josh and go see a movie when it was new for once!
I was hesitant about this movie, because The Fault in Our Stars book is one of my favorite YA books. After seeing the movie, my feelings are mixed. Here is what I thought:
The movie was surprisingly close to the book. In fact, I was a little bored at first because it was so close to the book. However, they did skip a few points that I wish had been in there. I expected them to skip a lot of the philosophy (Hollywood does not believe in the capacity of movie-goers to think). Honestly, I am surprised they kept any of it. I did not expect them to delete the part about Augustus’ old girlfriend. I felt that was an important element and should have been included. Other than that, if you see the movie, you have the plot of the book.
Just as I suspected, without the interesting philosophy on death and life, basically what you are left with is a sad story about someone who dies too young. There isn’t anything remarkable about it. In the book, I found the actual plot elements to be a little strange. The tour to Amsterdam seemed out of place, and it really stuck out in the movie. It seemed like a sub-movie inside the movie and it didn’t really add anything to the story for me. I know that is where they decide to declare their love for one another or whatever, but for me, they could have just as easily done that at home. However, the scene with Peter Van Houten was seriously hilarious and probably my favorite part of the movie.
What the movie misses, and what movies always miss, is the elements that make the story unique and beautiful. More of those elements were included than I expected, which means they tried, but I think they tried for the wrong thing. The movie skims the surface, and I feel it missed the entire point of the story (which to me said: life sucks, but love anyway). Basically, the movie is the same story, just as explained by a 10-year-old who has never experienced life.
I thought I would hate the visual interpretation of the characters, but I was pleasantly surprised. I can’t say that I really liked any of them, but I didn’t hate anyone either. I think Hazel was the best cast, and her parents were pretty awesome as well. The dad was Sam Merlotte from True Blood (Sam Trammell and it was pretty strange to see him alive.
A lot of the lesser characters (like Augustus’ siblings) were deleted, but that is to be expected. I did not want them to delete his old girlfriend, because I felt that was an important part of the story and made it much more realistic, but I know why they didn’t. Lovers in movies are not supposed to have any past.
The movie felt right to me for the most part. I didn’t like that there wern’t that many exterior shots in Amsterdam, but I guess it is more expensive to shoot outside because of crowd control. However, I feel like there wasn’t much point to them actually filming there if they wern’t going to show the city very much. The Anne Frank Museum looked just like I expected from the book, which is pretty cool and means John Green described it perfectly.
Since this movie was basically page-for-page taken from the book, a lot of The Fault in Our Stars book quotes made it in.
Here are the ones I noticed:
“I’m on a roller coaster that only goes up, my friend.”
“It’s a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing.”
“I fell l in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”
“Maybe okay will be our always.” “Okay.”
“I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”
“The world is not a wish-granting factory.”
“Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.” (also just the shorter version several times)
“When the scientists of the future show up at my house with robot eyes and they tell me to try them on, I will tell the scientists to screw off, because I do not want to see a world without him.”
“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world…but you do have some say in who hurts you.”
“I’ll find a way to hang around and annoy you for a long time.”
“Sometimes people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them.”
‘I can’t believe I had a crush on a girl with such cliché wishes.”
They also neglected to put in a few of my favorite quotes! Like these:
“You are so busy being you that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are.”
“You used,” he said, and then took a sharp breath, “to call me Augustus.” I liked how this showed how she used to see him as a protector/mentor, but then the roles changed and she became stronger. I thought it was an important difference.
And in the perfect quote, they didn’t put in Isaac’s response, which is my favorite quote of all from that book: “But you keep the promise anyway. That’s what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway.”
“My thoughts are stars I can’t fathom into constellations.” Seriously? Why not this quote?
“I take quite a lot of pride in not knowing what’s cool.” Just funny and one of my favorites.
And the most glaring error of all? The fact that the quote that the entire book is named after is nowhere in the movie.
Here is what the book is named for:
“Were she better, or you sicker, then the stars would not be so terribly crossed, but it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he had Cassius note, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars/But in ourselves.’ “
My sisters, who have never read the book, thought the name in the movie was a reference to the fact that they “tasted the stars” while drinking champagne, which is probably the dumbest way possible to completely miss the entire philosophy of the book.
What I Liked Most
I liked how the text messages and e-mails from the story were typed on-screen. That was pretty cool. Usually, the text was taken directly from the book, so I’m guessing the screenwriter had a super-easy time of it.
What I Liked Least
How can you make a movie and not include the entire reason for the title?
Is The Fault in Our Stars movie good? Yes. Is it as good as the book? Not a chance. Of my three sisters who went with me to see the movie, one saw it as hopeful and two saw it as just depressing. I think leaving out so much of the philosophy changed the story from amazing to generic. Will the movie be remembered in 20 years? I doubt it. But the book might be.
Not ready to say goodbye? I found this cool Buzz Feed article on some of John Green’s responses to the movie. If you like insider information, you’ll love this article.
What did you think of the movie? Did it live up to your expectations?
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