Advance “The Fault in Our Stars” Review

Here’s a preview of what I’m going to eventually write, because MAN if you take out the commentary on technical details and acting it captures my feelings about the book in an almost eerily perfect way.

Some gems:

[Hazel’s] love life is an afterthought… until she meets the perfect guy. Cancer survivor Gus (Ansel Elgort) disrupts Hazel’s malaise with an intoxicating carpe diem attitude. Fault’s not a corny high school movie, but it’s still dream-fulfillment with a GED. 500 Days of Summer writers Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber and director Josh Boone indulge in whimsical fluff only to burn it down with grief. Cancer is their dramatic trump card. Tears will flow, one way or another.


Self-aggrandizing, dim, aware of his own physical attractiveness, and faux-poetic (Gus sucks on cigarettes without smoking them as a metaphor: “You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing.”), Gus is the ultimate Manic Pixie Dream Boy. The too-bright-for-this-act Hazel falls for him hook, line, and sinker. .

Really though, I don’t think I could write a better description of Augustus if I tried.

Here’s another one:

To intensify their escalating relationship, Gus plays Make a Wish Foundation by helping Hazel connect with the author of her favorite book. This whisks the action from the ‘burbs to Amsterdam, a enlivening tactic that may have worked in Green’s book, but feels like an easy out on screen. The dreamy backdrop feels like an extension of Gus’ suffocating charm. When the two finally share a kiss, in the attic of Anne Frank’s house, the surrounding tourists applause. All it’s missing is the Peter Gabriel song.

FYI, it fails in the book too. And it ends it on the perfect note:

Fault in Our Stars sells cancer as a physical hardship that turns people into ticking clocks. It wants to believe that love has its own theory of relativity, slowing down time as it sparks burn hotter. But the film can’t stop looking ahead towards the inevitable. There’s no luxuriating in Fault in Our Stars because only one half of the couple is human. Hazel lives in the moment. Gus lives in a dream. And that combo doesn’t make for a movie that feels anything like “the truth.”

And the score: 5.8. I’ll tack the .8 up to acting skill, because man this review was pretty much perfect.

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5 Responses to Advance “The Fault in Our Stars” Review

  1. Intrespection of the eternal mind says:

    Nonetheless, it seems evident that if Gus had a suffocating charm, then tourists wouldn’t be clapping when they kissed, and if such were the case he would at least be more attractive than Adolph Hitler, but the point is that his intended charm is suffocated by tourists’ applause, whence the typo. The following reference to Sodom and Gomorrah simply strengthens this point, by positing a Kierkegaardian ‘either/or’ akin to ‘Holy Diver.’ Evidently, the article’s writer is trying very hard to not make the point about cancer being trite, without any real reason, but this is because their overall argument is that the original novel was good, but the film can’t match it because it can’t touch the heart of the article’s writer.

    We come from humble beginnings and who could’ve guessed it when – you sit and doubt it and things aren’t all that bright (abortive thought) – but we made it through the night. What the world needs now is some accountability, but Sam Harris can be excused because he’s just very meditative and not very good (evidently no body is good). Together we faced the cold outside, no-one can say we didn’t try; together we faced our final fears, remember the moments that we shared; it’s the same person, and the problem is what follows from this. But Malc read between the lines (see James Malcolm Rymer), which is the punchline. Art has its own truth, so to speak in retrospect, albeit not when it begins incorrectly, which would be a stranger situation.* Admittedly, it’s a strange one, because he’s continually attempting to point out that Gus is unattractive because he’s introverted, but this translates into him being aware of his own physical attractiveness, perhaps the film reviewer is living in denial, and aren’t they all (of Christ, namely). Malcolm is good at this kind of thing, because he’s very self-justifying. And he doesn’t boldly make things up, not exactly what Luther meant.

    (It might be worth rereading this: ‘His love at first sight is so aggressive, Boone’s direction is so stiff, that it’s almost like a thriller — when will Gus make his creepster move?’ At the least, it can’t have a negative effect.)

    Of course, there’s an easy way that I can tell that it’s a bad review, neca eos omnes. Unrelated note, this whole post has been an epic poem.

    (* Kierkegaard was straight on the mark, on this one.)

    • The impression I get is that they didn’t read the novel, but details about technical stuff and acting aside it sounds to me like the movie got it about right…which means it’s not going to be that good.

      The whole Amsterdam sequence was as cloying and ridiculous in the book as they describe in the movie. The Anne Frank scene was ludicrous. Talk about destroying suspension of disbelief…

      • Res says:

        If I had to guess, the applause was probably more important to the scene in the novel, or formed more of their intention, while the scene was also more structurally important. This based on two facts, firstly that suspension of belief being broken implies that you thought that it was a very good book prior to reading that section, which is not the case, and that any valid point they make is contrary to their intentions. But anything implying not belonging to something; hedonism being incorrect; their existing communities being incorrect, etc., comes off as offensive and the other.

      • Well, I was getting sucked into the story, but moments like that just kill it.

  2. Drew says:

    I can’t believe they made a movie about this story

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