We all want a love story to root for. A romance so powerful that life and death are mere hindrances to a love greater than all time. In "Love Story" a generation ago we remember the famous opening line about " what can you say about a girl who dies." We remember the poignancy of that heart-breaking line even today, a generation later, because no one can forget heartbreak or loss or the shattering loss of innocence that is love. In "The Fault in Our Stars" the line: "The world is not a wish-granting factory” stands out. It is a line that sums up what this love story set against the heart-breaking backdrop of cancer is all about. The New York Times reviews the film in its arts section and roots for the love conquers all story despite today's jaded times. For more from today's review visit www.nytimes.com.
"That (above) line, from “The Fault in Our Stars,” is undoubtedly true, and it is also true that the movie, like the book before it, is an expertly built machine for the mass production of tears," adds the review in The Times. The film is directed by Josh Boone (“Stuck in Love”) "with scrupulous respect for John Green’s best-selling young-adult novel, the film sets out to make you weep — not just sniffle or choke up a little, but sob until your nose runs and your face turns blotchy. It succeeds," according to The Times.
"But then again, a brief survey of the story and its themes might make you wonder how it could possibly fail. The main character — whose voice-over narration, drawn verbatim from Mr. Green’s pages, frames the story — is Hazel Grace Lancaster, a teenager who has lived most of her life with the metastatic thyroid cancer she expects will end it very soon," according to The Times review. "She falls in love with Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort), known as Gus, a fellow “cancer kid” who has lost part of his leg to the disease but who has been healthy since then and is determined to lead “an extraordinary life.”
"As played by Shailene Woodley, a gifted actress grabbing hold of her moment with both hands, Hazel is witty, compassionate and as lovely as a day in June. Her plucky rejection of the usual “cancer story” sentiments becomes a potent form of sentimentality in its own right, and her brave refusal of self-pity ensures the audience’s infinite sympathy," adds The Times. “The only thing that bites worse than having cancer is having a kid with cancer,” she says, and her compassion is borne out by the stricken faces of her parents (Sam Trammell and Laura Dern, both excellent in thinly sketched roles)."
"Ms. Woodley plays nearly every scene with a plastic oxygen tube anchored to her nostrils and splayed across her face (Hazel’s cancer affects her lungs), but her un-self-conscious performance is the perfect mirror of her character’s pragmatic temperament. Because she never asks for our approval, we are entirely in her thrall," adds The Times review. "Gus, meanwhile, is such a handsome bundle of chivalry, positive energy and impish self-deprecation that we may swoon over him even before Hazel does. With an unlighted cigarette wedged into his crooked, cocky grin, he is a perfect romantic hero, complete with a semigoofy sidekick (Nat Wolff)."
"A long time ago, a movie called “Love Story” also based on a best seller with terminal illness in its plot, swept through the popular culture and landed its female lead on the cover of Time. The film was potent and memorable without being all that good. And yet it is still possible, all these years later, to laugh at the stilted dialogue and awkwardly staged scenes and find yourself wet-eyed and raspy-voiced at the end," according to the review.
"However it might look in 40 years, “The Fault in Our Stars” seems at first glance like a much better picture, thanks to Ms. Woodley’s discipline and to a script by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber that takes an unhurried, amiable approach to the story. Their earlier screenplays, “500 Days of Summer” and “The Spectacular Now” (also starring Ms. Woodley), were offbeat variations on sturdy romantic-comedy themes, and here they smartly emphasize the dry, idiosyncratic notes in Mr. Green’s sometimes pushy prose," states The Times.
For anyone who has experienced the loss off a loved one to cancer or any other disease this film is one worth watching. I lost my father to cancer 25 years ago but even today his valiant struggle against the disease and against all odds still makes me remember and to reflect. The loss of a loved one can never be forgotten. That is what great tragedy is all about. In "Romeo & Juliet" two star-crossed love try to fall in love against all odds and their ill-fated romance still turns to dust and to tragedy. But today do we remember the tragedy or the romance? We root for Romeo and Juliet every time. In "The Fault In Our Stars" we root for romance against a backdrop of pathos and win or lose the struggle to love against all odds is still a sure bet. This film is a three hankie film that is worth the wait. Staten Island movie fans check your local listings for showtimes and theaters. You will not leave without a few tears.