What if every moment, every breath could be your last at the tender age of eighteen? How would you live and could you open your heart to love, knowing this? What would be the repercussions for those who would be left behind, and in doing so would it be fair to them? These are the questions that “The Fault in Our Stars” lays out, as Hazel Grace, Shailene Woodley who has had cancer since she was thirteen, finds herself confronted with when she meets Gus, Ansel Elgort at a cancer support group.
While this film is clearly aimed at the teen market, and those with a penchant for tear jerkers, it also asks its audience to think of those whose every breath is a labor, and who’s every moment could be their last. Does Hazel’s relationship seem to move extremely fast, one moment she is meeting Gus and a few scenes later they are laughing joking and holding hands, yes it does. Then ask yourself given the fact that both of them have had cancer that they cling to one another so quickly is not incomprehensible.
While this aspect is not absurd, the story itself and the way it is depicted is rife with clichés, emotional manipulation and absurdities. Hazel shares with Gus a book she loves which has no real ending. The author, played by Willem Dafoe is a drunken recluse who lives in Amsterdam, says if they visit him he will tell them the ending. However, Hazel’s family does not have the money to go, since she used her last wish on a trip to Disneyland. A few scenes later, Gus uses his wish and voila they are on their way.
“The Fault in Our Stars” is not a perfect, film, and yes, there have been many cancer films out there, “Love Story”, “Brian’s Song” to name a few, but what it does do is lay out (with some moments of humor, which were much needed) how such a debilitating diseases as cancer effects not only the person who is ill, but those who are left behind.
This film does have many flaws, mainly in how the story is laid out, yet the trio of young actors who are featured in it, give both depth and quality to the tale that make it well worth seeing.