I saw The Fault in Our Stars on Friday, June 6, and it was an incredibly emotional movie! It was a packed theater full of people of all ages who were all crying. The audience’s sobs and sniffles served as a sort of second soundtrack to the movie. But then there was me, sitting there with completely dry eyes.
Overall, I thought the movie was okay, just okay, not great. But reviews from critics and friends alike all sung its praises calling it “heartbreaking,” “beautiful,” and bragging about their usage of tissues during the movie. I would describe it with words more along the lines of “manipulative,” “predictable” and brag about the amount of chicken figures I ate during it.
I’ve admittedly never been one to cry at a movie, but I can recognize a well done, thought provoking tragedy when I see it and The Fault in Our Stars was almost there but it played to heavily to only one emotion. Just because it makes you want to cry does not make it an instant winner. I had watched Shailene Woodley give a heartfelt interview on the Queen Latifah show explaining how the movie wasn’t about cancer, but about appreciating and savoring the little precious moments in life. I guess you could say that, but ultimately it’s a movie about death and the unfairness of life or at least that’s what I walked away with…
I can’t deny that it did a great job at being extremely sad, but that was all, it was sad. John Green knew exactly what he was doing when he wrote The Fault in Our Stars; he’s not a highly successful best-selling author for no reason. Through his star-crossed lovers he was able to hijack an entire theater full of peoples’ emotions and make them bawl like babies! Now that does take talent! But it’s a bit of a cheap shot and an overused one at that. I’ve read a number of his books and the majority were pretty good, and while I haven’t read The Fault in Our Stars, the movie just felt a bit too forced.
It seemed as the story progressed Mr. Green just wanted to up the ante and it was like watching someone pump air into a balloon and you quickly see where this is going and as you predicted it pops. But like balloons, it is much more startling to have a balloon suddenly pop unexpectedly then to watch someone steadily fill a balloon that unavoidably pops. The Fault in Our Stars was that ole steady balloon.
Besides the unlikely, and somewhat unbelievable, death bed romance of Hazel and Gus, I guess the ‘plot twist’ is what was the most disappointing to me. Cancer is awful and completely unbiased in who it affects, however John Green was very calculated in who he targeted. I’m pretty convinced he used an equation to figure out who he’d have to kill in order to produce the maximum amount of tears possible, but math makes things predictable. In addition Gus’ death felt rushed and more like a way to wrap things up rather than a major turning point in the story (although this may have progressed differently in the book).
But overall The Fault in Our Stars was an okay movie, with good dialog, character development, and some heartwarming moments. However it was too jam packed full of cheap plot devices to try and make you feel unbearably sad to really reach its full potential.