John Green’s book was popular amongst my friends. ‘It’s about a young girl with cancer, you’ll love it and I dare you not to cry.’ Challenge not accepted. However my girlfriend did, and most evenings I would find her red eyed and sobbing onto the book’s pages. The crying wasn’t a direct result of the sadness. There were also happy tears. At least according to her. So you can imagine my enthusiasm when I had the opportunity to join in and watch the film.
Shailene Woodley plays Hazel, a teenager who has terminal thyroid cancer. Sensing that Hazel may be depressed, her mother sends her to a teenager cancer support group where she meets Gus, a cancer survivor. The story then plays you like a piano as we watch Hazel and Gus’s relationship develop. I think that this a good time to admit that I did cry, several times. So please, have tissues (man sized) handy.
Extra care is often needed with a film that tackles a sensitive topic, otherwise it’s easy for it to feel overplayed or just depressing, however this isn’t the case with The Fault In Our Stars. The screenplay and direction hit all of the right notes and the acting even more so. I did find myself wondering about the mood on set though, with all the crying that happens I can only hope they were re-hydrating constantly.
The Fault In Our Stars is clearly skewed to younger women, but those men who might be forced to watch it with their ‘gfs’ will get something out of it too. That’s the impressive thing about this movie, it’s a good story that makes us care about the characters quite quickly. But then, it’s kids with cancer, who isn’t caring?
The Fault In Our Stars is released on DVD November 3rd.