leave your inhibitions at the door
What has to be the movie of the summer opens up today – The Fault in Our Stars – and I caught an early showing of it last night.
It’s an adaptation of the the wildy popular young adult book of the same name by John Green. Boom Boom and my girls were raving about the book and I kept on hearing it mentioned all over the place, so I read it a few months ago.
TFIOS (what we fans call it) is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time in any genre. At its core, it’s a simple story of how teenaged Hazel Lancaster finds her first true love in the form of August Waters. I absolutely loved both of the characters. As much as Katniss Everdeen was a terrific heroine in The Hunger Games trilogy, at times her indecision and self-doubt were annoying. Hazel, on the other hand, is confident, strong, and incredibly witty. And I’d love for my son to grow up to be the charming, sensitive man that Augustus is.
Unfortunately, it’s probably their last true love as she’s actively fighting lung and thyroid cancer and his in-remission osteosarcoma has already taken his leg.
This book could have been depressing as all hell. On the other hand, since it’s a teen love story, it could also have been sickeningly cheery to try to sugarcoat their predicament. But the mastery of the book is that it is honest with both extremes and succeeds in balancing them. The happies are as high as can be and the sads are utterly painful. Even though I can’t remember how my first love happened and I haven’t dealt with a dying lover, it all felt familiar.
The movie was excellent. We miss out on a lot of the smart dialogue from the book, but there was just too much of it to get into a two hour movie. The two leads – Shailene Woodley (Hazel) and Ansel Elgort (Augustus) – were very charming and had boatloads of chemistry between them.
How awesome is it that what’s going to be one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer is a teen romance that has no special effects, vampires, action or isn’t in a dystopian society?
While reading the book and in the lead-up to the movie, I kept on thinking about two songs that had “stars” in their titles. The first is Grace Potter and the Nocturnals’ “Stars” –
The other is Tiny Tempah’s “Written in the Stars”
You can’t get two more different songs. The first is a country-influenced ballad that beautifully speaks of loss and sorrow. The other is a hip hop epic that is a celebration of life and the hope for a future of greatness. Neither of them have anything to do with the story. But put them both together, they have everything to do with it.
Have you read TFIOS? Are you going to see the movie?