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Movie Reviews THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

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This year’s crop of new releases once again reminded me that young female audiences seem drawn to two things—obscure Shakespearean quotes, and terminally ill characters. Sick-lit, the latest genre to gain prominence on bookshelves and movie theaters is well represented by THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (2014) starring Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, and Nat Wolf. The sixth novel by bestselling author John Green, this story is compassionately narrated by a terminally ill cancer patient. Whether or not you are familiar with Green’s prior works, this project is definitely worth two hours of your life.

Hazel and Gus are two average teenagers who meet at a support group. What sets THE FAULT IN OUR STARS apart from so many other teenage love stories is their shared struggle with terminal cancer and the effects the disease has on their families, their social lives, and most of all—their limited futures. Both well spoken, well read, and definitely in touch with their emotional journeys, Hazel and Gus temporarily flourish in their struggle to be nonconventional and to cram a lifetime of memories into their dwindling time together.

With the title inspired by a line in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar “the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings,” audiences will quickly realize that THE FAULT IN OUR STARS is not a film for casual viewing in a party atmosphere. This movie examines profound loss in the face of true love, and the excruciating pain of those left behind to mourn. The genre of sick-lit with its overwhelming themes of dying, suicide, and self-harm, never have, and never will be, for the faint of heart.  

If the pairing of Woodley and Elgort seems strangely familiar, then you’ve probably familiar with DIVERGENT (2014), another popular release only hitting the theatre three months prior to THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. Directed by Josh Boone, Rated PG, 126 Minutes, Drama, and Romance. **** 4 stars out of 5.

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Reviewed by Lynne Martin September 26, 2014
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