Montag, 30. Juni 2014


 Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Running Time: 126 min
Director: Josh Boone
Starring: Shaile Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Natt Wolff, Lara Dern, Sam Trammell, Willem Dafoe

Based on the novel of author/YouTuber John Green, the movie "The Fault in Our Stars" is a love story about two young people that both have to battle cancer. And while films with such a premise often tend to try too hard in the tear-jerking department, with lots of overly dramatic events and plot points, this movie is not such a film!
In fact, "The Fault in Our Stars" does not have to fall back on cheap tricks to create the emotional journey it takes the viewer on. The way the characters are written makes them and especially the story feel very real. It is not afraid to look at cancer and the certainty of death from a humorous side, and it is these lighthearted funny moments that give the drama so much more weight when it hits. Further, the movie really tries to avoid clichés, as well as painting things black and white, which underlines its authenticity even more. There is no character and no moment that is only sad or only happy, but rather a blend of everything, as we find it in real-life.
To say that this is just another love story wouldn't do this film much justice, as it really goes deeper than that. It is a story about life and our purpose in this whole mess we call the universe. Because it raises those philosophical questions, sometimes the metaphors and thoughts the main characters come up with almost seem to be a bit too complex for a teenager, but at no point does it take you out of the movie. This is most likely due to the incredible acting that is done in this film.
Shaile Woodley is phenomenal as Hazel Grace and gives her best performance so far. Seeing her portraying such a range of strong emotions so stirringly, one can only hope she stays away from regular young-adult films and chooses projects that can tap her full potential. If she does so, she should have a great career in front of her. The other half of the couple is Ansel Elgort, who (as probably intended) comes across as a moron at the beginning, but manages to charm his way into the audience's hearts with his big dim-witted grin and a warm and loving attitude. But those two aren't the only pieces to the puzzle, as Laura Dern also adds a lot of weight to the film. Her portrayal of Hazel's mother is incredibly believable and not overacted as in other films of this genre. The only character who seems comic is Van Houten. However, he too is played brilliantly by Willem Dafoe, showing us once more how underrated the former Green Goblin actor is.
So take a break from this tsunami of blockbusters with which Hollywood is flooding the theatres these days and check out "The Fault in Our Stars". It is to cheesy romantic films what Jaws is to other shark movies. More clever and handled with a lot of cinematic care and skill. Charming, smart, funny, sad, heart-warming and heart-breaking. If this doesn't hit your soft spot, you are most probably kind of a douche.
Lastly, I gotta say that while I haven't read the book, people who have don't seem to be disappointed at all. So fans of the source material don't be afraid. This novel has been adapted more than well!

For Fans Of:
50/50 (2011)
My Sister's Keeper (2009)
Spectacular Now (2013)

And check out my friend's review over at B.A.'s Screentest for a second opinion!

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