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The Fault in Our Stars Reviews/Discussion

Discussion in 'Movies' started by mattCR, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    First, if you are a fan of the book the film is not as good as the book, but still quite effective. One of the knocks on TFIOS is that that the book is accused often of being 'emotionally manipulative' taking hot button topics, throwing them together and seeing what works. There is no doubt about it, the film and book definitely do some of that. Still, what I always respected about the book and now the film is that the characters are not presented as ideal candidates to carry their message.. they are flawed and not always 'there' in a scene.
    I recognize for some especially those who haven't read the book, this may be off putting. The character of Augustus Waters in the book goes from moments of true charm to fairly aloof and zoned out to simple 'on'. No matter how many movies show us perfect teen romance, I found Augustus in the book to be one of the more effective teen-romance leads in a pulpy piece of literature.. and the actor in this film really nails that feeling far better than I expected.

    I also have to think this film may be review proof. I see it's getting good reviews, but let me say the 8PM, 10PM shows of TFIOS were completely sold out, leaving me to see the midnight which was near full. I have never, ever at any point been in a theater where there was that much open outright crying going on in a theater. Probably the next closest would be Schindler's List. That isn't a knock on Schindler's List, it is just that sometimes fiction or a good romance film can really pull an audience in a way that other things can't. There is a sequence

    The pre-funeral for Augustus where he hears his eulogies
    Where the audience in my theater lost it.. girls in the row above and below me in the theater were bawling, just outright parades of tears with heavy sobs and the like.. hell, at the sequence following that one of the few men in the theater (literally the show I went to was probably 200+ women and 6 guys.. I was the only guy in my row, and only guy in 3 rows of me which were all full) the one guy in the theater where I knew where he was also lost it.
    I think for a certain audience this film is going to connect right off the bat and really hit home.

    A-
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I thought it was okay, but I'm not really the target audience, and I'm probably not as sentimental about this subject matter at this point in my own life. But I did like the chemistry between Woodley and Algort as Hazel and Augustus (but they were lucky in having worked on the recent "Divergent" film to have had more trust in one another).

    Fans of the book will see it opening weekend, and cry their eyes out, this subject is primed for this reaction, but the film doesn't undercut its message of older teens living with cancer while finding a spark between them that provides a richer experience of being human with an unconventional timeline and obstacles.

    I give it 2.75 stars, or a grade of B-.
     
  3. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    I'm kind of curious about the story since it's so popular, but I'm leaving this one for the teens. This may sound weird to some, but as a parent, I have no interest in watching a movie about terminally ill kids.
     
  4. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Producer

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    I'm with Aaron - kinda curious, but not enough to make me see a picture about terminally ill kids.

    When I saw the Notebook with my wife in the theater some years ago, everyone in the theater was crying at the end (except me). I turned to her and said as loud as I could, in mock anger, "Hey! That wasn't 'just like Star Wars'! Hmmph!"
     
  5. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Premium
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    I totally understand that. I'm not a parent, so I can't say I know exactly what you feel like -- but there are certain movies or shows that I'm sure are utterly fantastic, but that I just can't bring myself to watch because the subject matter hits close to home in other ways.

    As for "Fault In Our Stars" - I had been given an advance copy of the book without knowing anything about it, and I was instantly hooked, I read it in just a couple days. It really moved me. Normally I get excited when they're going to make a movie out of a book I like, but this time, I felt some hesitation - not sure why. Part of it is that the book was so perfectly written, that I wondered if the movie would fall short. From the enthusiasm I've read online from the cast and crew, it seems everyone was really into doing this, and doing it right. And yet, I haven't even watched the trailer. I dunno.. I'm strangely not interested in the movie version. But my girlfriend wants to see it, and I wouldn't mind watching it, so I'll probably end up seeing it. It's just my memory of the book was that it was nearly flawless, so I was totally okay with only knowing it as a book.
     
  6. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    I think for a lot of people watching a film about two terminally ill kids is hard. But when I read the book I found it to be surprisingly life-affirming. Having known someone who died way too young from illness, I think the thing I appreciated most about the book and the film is expressed in it - that just because you are dying doesn't mean you can't live now.
    The lovestory it tells is of course sad and bittersweet, but I think what attracts groups to it is all different. In one of the first forums of reviews on it, a parent of a child with cancer made the point that as a parent knowing things were rough for your kid was hard, but TFIOS was so 'hopeful' because even in the worst of situations the child found love and life and so on.

    I think there is something to that. Films have long walked this fine line.... When John Greene spoke of this story, and how it is dedicated to a 16 year old girl he knew who died from cancer, it takes on a different meaning and I think really ropes in the idea of: yes, things are hard for these people but can't we treat them as more than just 'cancer cases' to be pitied? Why can't they have romance and love and everything else?

    I think that part touches a lot of us who care for those with disabilities and illness. I've talked about this film several times today with friends, many of whom have joked that they would be embarrassed to see it in the theater.. but one friend, who lost her daughter to illness (though not cancer) commented in my feed this morning that she thought that maybe it was manipulative, but it was probably closer to how she felt about the last few months of her child's life than anything else..

    There are two big scenes between mom/daughter in the film that I thought worked on every level.

    The book is better, but there are a few moments in this film that get so close to the feeling of the book and that is all on the performance of the actress who just nails this.
     
  7. Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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    It's already beating EDGE OF TOMORROW at the boxoffice.
     
  8. RJ992

    RJ992 Second Unit

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    And that's more of a tear-jerker than anything this movie will probably offer.
     
  9. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

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    [​IMG]
     
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  10. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

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    I heard they might expand this to a trilogy if it does well, as the leads all signed agreements for tumor-movies.
     
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