The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

Music for The Fault in Our Stars

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.

tfios strawburry17c0m

strawburry17.com

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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.

Wow.

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.

Bleak, eh?

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” –

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The other is Tiny Tempah’s “Written in the Stars”

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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.

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Have you read TFIOS? Are you going to see the movie?

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About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

7 comments on “Music for The Fault in Our Stars

  1. ithinkweareallnuts
    June 6, 2014

    Love this.

  2. dwdirwin
    June 6, 2014

    Ok I’m opening myself up to a lot of criticism but I didn’t quite get the hoopla around tfios. And this was a year ago a little before all the big hype began. Maybe I expected too much because it seemed that everyone just raved about how good it was. I had held off reading because of the subject material- I think having kids and them starting to reach the age of the characters made me nervous but I broke down finally and read it. I’m not sure if it was just a little too realistic, or the characters didn’t connect for me or it’s just a plain downer of a book- it just didn’t do it for me. Probably won’t see the movie either though I hear it was very well-acted.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      June 6, 2014

      Nah, I realize it’s not for everyone. I thought about the realism part a lot. It’s not escapism like Potter or Hunger Games, so it ver easily could be a downer. Especially given their circumstances.

      What I like was how there was no sentimentality or self-pity. These two are truly living in their short time left. It is kinda disturbing in that it takes cancer to bring it out but it it is a good lesson for the healthy.

  3. PinotNinja
    July 10, 2014

    I LOVED this book and the movie. Unabashedly love and usually I’m totally cynical and snarky about this type of thing. When I read the book, I was hysterically sobbing at the end. As soon as I caught my breath, I immediately started reading the book all over again.

    What was your movie experience like? I went with some friends on opening night and it was the most interesting group, sociological experience. By the end, every person in the theater was audibly gasping, laughing, sighing, and crying together. It was incredible.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      July 10, 2014

      OMG, not a dry eye in the theater. Te lobby looked like an army of raccoons with the runny mascara. We caught late showing night before official opening. Almost all teen girls. The 1st time Augustus appears onscreen there was a collective swoon. Which I didn’t understand cos I think he’s weird looking.

      • PinotNinja
        July 11, 2014

        TOTALLY weird looking. I really don’t get the attraction to that actor at all. But, the way Augustus spoke and acted was such a teen girl’s dream that any actor playing him could induce squealing and swooning — it’s amazing what confidence and charm can do for a dude, especially a tragically dying dude.

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This entry was posted on June 6, 2014 by in Music and tagged , , , , .
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