Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars

Complete spoilers ahead

My friend Lupe lent me the book while in Denton on August 31, 2013.

In February this year, I began taking her to school twice-weekly as she couldn't yet drive herself to her school. As the spring semester wound down in April, she asked if I had read the book. I sort  of lied to her and said I had, but in reality, it was lounging on my bookshelf since she lent it to me.

She gave me an ultimatum: read it by next week or you pay me "rent" for every week over. At a certain point: "rent" turned into me buying it from her for $28.

Money was on the line... I was going to read this mother if it killed me. 
I agreed and soon enough, I was lying on my bed reading it by flashlight. I finished it a week later (I didn't read on consecutive days) and was astounded by it. It was emotional as people said it was.
Starting in May, previews started airing on TV for the film. Whenever I saw them, they made the movie seem so insufferable, so I was totally against watching it. I changed my position when Mike and Cindy, a couple friend of mine, invited me to the movies to go and see it on June 14.

We got to the theater a little close to showtime, but got good seats towards the bottom of the stadium-style auditorium. And you know you have a good thing when the audience starts off laughing (here because we see Patrick for the first time and it's just fantastic). I think Ansel Elgort caught me a little by surprise but yeah

I am very glad I changed my opinion about it, and even more so that no one saw me bawl like a baby when Hazel reads Gus's words at the end. I kept an eye on Ansel Elgort throughout. (A little homo.) He made Gus appear slightly douchey, but otherwise did a great job. Shailene Woodley also did an awesome job with Hazel, although I think the self-confidence and smart-alecky air in the book didn't transfer (or wasn't depicted) too well. Isaac looked the way I thought he did because Nat Wolff: "not too bad." 

The parents looked parent-y enough. Laura Dern had that motherly concern while also holding up her own, and Hazel's dad, Sam Trammell was great, too. Although to be honest, I was expecting a lot more crying from him. Otherwise, he was very dad. Much dad.
  The film had some obvious differences from the book. For example, the dinner at the Oranjee took place indoors rather than on a patio overlooking a canal. Van Houten, described as overweight, was a thin Willem Dafoe, and Isaac and Hazel's meet-up after Gus's funeral never happened.   Gus picks up Hazel and her mother instead of the other way around, so when we hear he lit up, we get it straight-up rather than thinking back to the shouting match.

When Gus's condition worsens, it is implied rather than depicted. At one point, Gus wets his bed and Hazel sees this when she goes to visit him. In the film, the funeral scene takes place outdoors rather than at the church, and Van Houten only surprises Hazel once rather than twice. Also, the reply Lidewij sends is in a physical form (via Peter) rather than over e-mail.

Of course, I don't want to nitpick the movie. (Although I'm being completely passive-aggressive about it here.) The film is a great adaptation of the book besides what I've pointed out. Just like the book, you have your ups and downs, and big thick lumps in your throat while trying to dismiss your quivering lip and painful soft palate from holding things back.

Overall, great adaptation and an awesome cast. The differences from the book should not keep you from watching, although if they bother you that much, then just wait until it gets released on DVD/Blu-Ray in October/November.

Four out of Fault Stars. (Hehehe. Get it? Fault Stars. Christ I'm hilarious.)