I’m going to preface this entire article by saying if you don’t cry while watching this, you have no soul and shouldn’t be reading this review, because all I’m going to talk about is how this movie (and its book predecessor) made me a blubbering mess.
While turning books into movies is the thing these days, since Hollywood is out of fresh, original ideas, it’s still a touchy subject, especially when a book has such a huge fan following. If you’re a devout fan, you either love the movie or you hate it and the movie version almost never surpasses the book version. Sadly, much is the same with The Fault in Our Stars. I read this book last year, before the rumours of a movie started flying and before it became a thing—I’m not a bandwagon-hopper, and, like most of my book choices, I elected to read this one based on the fun cover art (yes, I judge books by their covers and I’m almost always in love with the ones that draw me in visually), but when the movie previews started rolling, I knew there was going to be trouble for readers.
This movie wasn’t bad, per se. And maybe it’s just all in my head because as a reader I became invested in the book and the characters and refuse to agree that Shailene Woodley was the best choice to play Hazel. Like most book-to-movie adaptations, they rushed certain scenes and swapped things around, or left small (seemingly insignificant) details out. Truthfully, it wasn’t an awful adaptation, just not what I wanted and envisioned for this particular love story. Augustus (played my Ansel Elgort), on the other hand, was pure perfection, and EXACTLY what I (and my friend who sat beside me for this sob-fest) imagined.
I recognize I didn’t have to see this movie and that I, like many others before me, set myself up for disappointment. As a movie, it was okay. It made me feel all the feels and cry like a baby, so I guess they hit the nail on the head with that one. But if most movies come from books these days, are moviegoers resigned to watching subpar cinematic adventures because they’re too invested in the literary counterparts? I guess so…