“The Fault In Our Stars” is beautifully tragic

Movie adaptation of John Green’s YA novel practically flawless


Raider Times photo / Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox

Ansel Elgort (left) and Shailene Woodley star as Gus and Hazel in “The Fault In Our Stars”.

Teenagers are supposed to get in trouble for talking in class, to go to football games at night, and to struggle to find the perfect outfit for the school dance.

Teenaged cancer patients instead, go to doctors appointments, take medications, spend enough time in the hospital to know which floors have the best coffee machines and sometimes, are forced to attend weird support groups in “the heart of Jesus” (a church basement) to listen to a strange guy sing about “JC” and talk about his testicular cancer.

In “The Fault In Our Stars”, Hazel Grace Lancaster is a 17-year-old from the latter category. She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of 13 but it eventually settled into her lungs and left her dragging around an oxygen tank.

Augustus Waters is also a teenager from the latter category. He lost his leg to bone cancer and is dragged to the support group by his friend, Isaac, who is in the process of losing his eyes to cancer.

Augustus and Hazel connect over her favorite book, “An Imperial Affliction.” Like life, this book ends in the middle of sentence leaving readers with no resolution or sense of closure.

Hazel becomes obsessed with the cut-off ending of the book. She understands that the book was cut short because the main character died and that life ends in the middle of a sentence, but she can’t accept that the stories of the other characters are left unfinished as well. As a teenager living in the shadow of death, she is searching for the security of knowing that when her sentence is cut off, her parents will continue until the end of theirs. So together, she and Augustus adventure to Amsterdam to find answers and a period for the end of their stories.

“The Fault In Our Stars” is authentic and humorous, but also painful and tragic without being sappy. It boldly confronts cancer and mortality in a way that is real, and relatable.

Adapted from the incredible Young Adult novel by John Green, “The Fault In Our Stars” stays very true to the book. The actors fit their characters beautifully, and the plot does not stray far from the one written by Green.

The film does deal with the topic of death in a very raw way, and there are references made to adult content that makes the movie more suitable for teens and adults.

I have nothing but praise for “The Fault In Our Stars”. It is a beautifully tragic movie that will emotionally batter its viewers causing them to leave the theater both laughing and crying.

–June 6, 2014–