The Fault in Our Stars is based on the novel by John Green. It follows the story of cancer patient Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley). During one of her support group meetings she quite literally runs into cancer survivor, Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort). After spending a considerable amount of time together, Augustus announces his true feelings for Hazel, but the reluctant Hazel wishes to upset as little people as possible when her time finally comes and she passes away. This of course doesn't stop Augustus from trying to win her over.
The Fault in Our Stars is the funniest, most heart warming and heart breaking movie you will see all year. I am a fan of the source material, a big big fan, and was very much looking forward to finally getting a chance to sit down and watch the movie. I am hardly disappointed, if not disappointed at all. The film brings many laughs and touching moments throughout and then picks them all up and puts them in a blender with several moments that bring many tears in the entire audience's eyes. I cried much harder in the film than I did in the novel that's for sure.
Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort give it their all. This is by far Elgort's top performance, although there's not a lot of choices. While Woodley gives a sensational performance it doesn't manage to top last year's The Spectacular Now, coincidentally written by the same screenwriters. The rest of the cast were top notch as well, allowing the tears to flow with ease as the film takes a drastic and emotional turn. Laura Durn and Nat Wolff give uplifting performances and Willem Dafoe adds a sense of "hip hop" to the film, that'll make more sense later.
The screenplay is both a drama and a comedy, no thanks to John Green for writing the book. There's a perfect translation from book to screen here that's not in any way disrespectful to the source or ever being overly loyal. They tell the story needed to be told with the perfect batch of hysterical moments as well as a balanced amount of dramatic flare. There really isn't a lot that I can complain about with this film as it's one of the best movies of the year.
New-ish director Josh Boone takes the helm well as second time director. I have not yet seen Boone's debut feature film, Stuck In Love, but I hope to get around to it shortly. Boone understands how to please both the fans of the novel, like myself, and new fans alike. He takes this already character driven story and drives it even further into our hearts creating what could only be described as a man crush on Augustus Waters. Yeah I just put that on the internet.
To sum up, The Fault in Our Stars is a hilarious, heart warming, heart breaking, emotional, character driven film with sensational performances, an upbeat screenplay and inspired directing. It's this year's The Spectacular Now.
4 1/2 Stars