Review: The Fault in Our Stars


Ashley Spencer

Acclaimed as this generation’s The Notebook, John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars tells the story of teens Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters, who meet in a cancer support group and fall in love as they battle cancer. With a box office opening of 50 million—beating out Angelina Jolie and Tom Cruise films for the week—the film certainly made an impact.

While a major point of the story is the fact that these two are terminally ill, The Fault in Our Stars is by no means a story about cancer.

The story is told from the perspective of the protagonist, Hazel Grace—a girl who is reluctant to open up for fear of who she might hurt, and whose sense of duty to her parents is so strong she worries about them more than she does herself. Augustus is the opposite; he appears fearless and confident in spite of his illness all while being slightly hung up on the idea of leading an “epic life” and being someone that goes down in history as having done something great. Together the two embark on a journey of acceptance and self-discovery.

Author John Green takes the teenage fears of the unknown and falling in love for the first time in a new direction by having characters who know all too well that their “forever is numbered.” Wonderfully casted, the cast features no big name A-listers that would distract from the story itself. Shailene Woodley, along side Ansel Elgort, brought the book to life giving a vey realistic and emotional performance of Hazel Grace and Augustus Water’s. Woodley and Elgort, who previously played siblings in the dystopian action flick Divergent, were believable as young lovers on the journey of self-discovery amidst having terminal cancer. One finds they are rooting for these two characters from start to finish of the film. The film also stars Laura Dern, Sam Tramell, Nat Wolff and Willem Dafoe.

In keeping with the book turned movie trend, the prevalence of social media cannot be ignored. Looking around the theater, groups of teenaged girls were tweeting, texting, and posting statuses about the movie. In the weeks before and even after the movie’s June 6 release, Twitter was buzzing with fans hashtagging and retweeting all things “#TFIOS” even starting the hash tag “#thefaultinourstarsproblems.” The Washington Post noted that the social media presence in support of author John Green played a tremendous role in the film box office success.

The soundtrack to the film features a mix of popular and emerging artists with fan favorites such as Ed Sheeran and Birdy lending their talents to the soundtrack. The songs do a great job of capturing the mood and spirit of the story without being overly done or sappy.

Since the June 6th release of the film the album has maintained it’s led on the charts currently at #2 on iTunes top albums list and with the album as well as individual songs, such as Birdy’s “Not about Angels” rising to number 8 on Billboards Rock charts and Charli XCX Boom Clap at #7 on iTunes.

Social media has been a buzz with fans on platforms such as twitter and YouTube proclaiming that the album is “amazing” and with fans excited for the exposure their favorite artist will get being featured on what some have been calling the soundtrack of the summer.