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The Fault in Our Stars

By KAITIE TODD
“I believe we have a choice in this world about how to tell sad stories,” says Hazel Grace Lancaster at the beginning of the film adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars. For author John Green—who wrote the novel of the same name—he approaches sad stories with wisdom, wit and a heartbreaking blow. In voice-over narrative, we are introduced to Hazel (Shailene Woodley), a 17-year-old with an unpronounceable form of lung cancer and an often cynical—she would probably call it realistic—outlook on life that’s best expressed in a line from her favorite book: “Pain demands to be felt.” When she meets fellow cancer patient Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort) at a support group for teens with cancer, the two predictably and reluctantly fall in love. Typical rom-com moments ensue: a montage of Hazel repeatedly checking her phone, waiting for Augustus to text her for the first time; a room of people clapping after their first kiss; a fancy dinner where the waiter refers to them as “Mr. and Mrs. Waters.” But they’re self-aware about being star-crossed lovers. “You’ve just got a touch of cancer,” one says to the other jokingly, just after they’ve discussed their numbered days alive. This is the film’s true success: It seesaws from funny banter to talk of death and then right back to playful repartee. Woodley’s performance is unsurprisingly absorbing, but the real fun comes with Elgort’s Augustus. He exudes a wicked wit and a magnetic confidence that works with Woodley’s world-weary intelligence. You’ll probably hear people call The Fault in Our Stars “that romance movie about kids with cancer,” but really it’s a story about love and dealing with loss—and not about cancer. “Pain demands to be felt,” sure, but love does too.
 
  • Genres: Drama, Romance
  • Running Time: 126 minutes
  • Release Date: Friday, June 6, 2014
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13 [ Brief Strong Language, Some Sexuality, Thematic Elements ]
  • Critic's Score: B+
  • Starring: Shailene Woodley [Hazel Grace Lancaster], Ansel Elgort [Augustus Waters], Willem Dafoe [Peter Van Houten], Nat Wolff [Isaac], Laura Dern [Frannie Lancaster], Sam Trammell [Michael Lancaster], Mike Birbiglia [Patrick], Emily Peachey [Monica]
  • Directed by: Josh Boone [Director], Scott Neustadter [Screenwriter], Michael Weber [Screenwriter], Marty Bowen [Producer], Wyck Godfrey [Producer], Michele Stabile [Executive Producer], Isaac Klausner [Executive Producer], Ben Richardson [Cinematographer], Molly Hughes [Production Design], Robb Sullivan [Film Editor], Mike Mogis [Original Music], Nathaniel Walcott [Original Music], Mary Hannan [Costume Designer]
  • Visit the Movie Website | Watch the trailer
 

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