“The Fault In Our Stars”: Good Reviews for the Film

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. First sentence of the description of John Green’s bestselling book The Fault in Our Stars

About the phenomenon of TFIOS, otherwise known as The Fault In Our Stars, Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice, has stated: “Colloquial, breezy, and laced with black humor — the adjective ‘cancertastic’ may not yet be part of the dealing-with-cancer lexicon, but it should be — the book is very much loved, and not just by teenagers.”

Indeed, legions of both teens and adults will be going into Josh Boone‘s new movie version of The Fault in Our Stars already knowing basically what they’ll see—a poignant love story laced with inevitable heartbreak.

THE PLOT

Claudia Puig, USA Today:

Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) is a bright and irreverent 16-year-old. Diagnosed with cancer at 13, she has to breathe from a tube connected to an oxygen tank she must carry everywhere. But she will not allow illness to define her.

At the behest of her loving mom (Laura Dern), Hazel reluctantly attends a support group for cancer survivors. Still, Hazel’s biggest passion is losing herself in An Imperial Affliction, a novel by a mysterious Amsterdam-based author.

One afternoon, a new boy stops by the support group. Augustus ‘Gus’ Waters (Ansel Elgort) is a strapping 17-year-old who has lost part of a leg to cancer. He and Hazel share an instant connection, and the whip-smart pair trade barbs, strike up a friendship, then fall in love.

Watch the trailer below:

THE CANCER SUPPORT GROUP

Andrew Barker, Variety: “Her parents (Laura Dern, Sam Trammell) are a loving, lovable pair who worry that Hazel is becoming depressed, as she has no friends and spends her time endlessly rereading reclusive author Peter Van Houten’s postmodern cancer-themed novel, ‘An Imperial Affliction.’ After some insistently gentle prodding, she agrees to attend a weekly church-basement support group hosted by sappy Jesus freak Patrick (Mike Birbiglia).”

HAZEL

Chris Nashawaty, ew.com: “…Hazel Grace, despite a diagnosis of thyroid cancer that has spread to her lungs, is nobody’s martyr. She’s a sarcastic straight shooter who has accepted her fate and isn’t ashamed about the tubes under her nose or the unwieldy oxygen tank she has to lug around like a millstone.”

GUS

Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice: “…a philosophical ex-basketball player with a tendency toward grandiose pronouncements. Just after their first meeting, he shocks Hazel by sticking a cigarette in his mouth — the look on her face says, ‘How could you? Around me, with my crap lungs?’ But his shtick is clenching cigarettes between his pillowy lips without lighting them: That way, he explains, he accepts their power to kill him without granting them the power to kill him.”

THE ROMANCE

Tasha Robinson, The Dissolve:

Hazel’s prognosis sometimes makes her pull away from Augustus, claiming she’s a grenade that may go off at any moment, and she doesn’t want to hurt him when she does. But as a fellow survivor, he has some authority when he keeps gently pushing her to accept him, so patiently and passively that he doesn’t seem stalkerish, but so insistently that his authentic affection for her comes across.

Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair:

As Augustus and Hazel grow closer, they embark on a quest to find out what happens after the ending of Hazel’s favorite book, An Imperial Affliction, written by an ornery recluse named Peter Van Houten (Willem Dafoe). Their journey takes them to Amsterdam, where they enjoy a wistful, romantic weekend before things get sad again.

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