Movie Review: The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

Synopsis: A teenager battling cancer in her lungs meets a cancer survivor at a support group and bonds with him over a book by her favorite author.

Who's in it? The movie stars Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern and Willem Dafoe.

Review: This is the type of movie my wife usually enjoys more than I do. However, I have been making an effort to expand my movie genres a bit and was the one who added it to our Netflix DVD list. We finally got around to watching it this past weekend and, overall, I didn't hate it.

I think the thing that really stood out about this movie, in my opinion, is it is super depressing. Part of this might be because I lost my dad to cancer last year, but a bigger part was Hazel Grace (Woodley) and Augustus (Elgort) just seemed to be the unluckiest teenagers alive.

I suspect that was supposed to be the point, they found a moment of happiness with each other despite everything else. However, by the end of this film, I was beginning to think they could enter the lottery and lose so bad, they would owe money. It seemed like, every time things seemed to finally be going their way, there would be even worse news around the corner.

All that being said, the movie did wind up being a lot better than I was expecting it to be and, at times, I have to admit it even managed to inspire me. For example, the part with Hazel Grace insisting on climbing the stairs at the Anne Frank House, despite her lung condition, had me on the edge of my seat because I didn't know if she would succeed or would be forced to admit the cancer was winning.

The part where they meet their favorite author (Dafoe) also stood out for me. On one hand, it did turn out to be a little predictable (a hero who doesn't live up to the hype) but, at the same time, I was curious how they would react to the encounter. Would they still be inspired by his writing, or would meeting him be a set back for them, especially since even more bad news was revealed the next day.

Final Opinion: Like I said, it is a depressing film. However, if you can handle that part of it, the movie is worth taking the time to watch.

My Grade: B


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