The Fault In Our Stars (directed by Josh Boone) is the screen adaptation of the bestselling book of the same name (written by author John Green). Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) is a long-time cancer survivor who carries an obligatory oxygen tank wherever she goes. Concerned with her daughter's depressive state (for reasons known to us), Hazel's mother, Frannie Lancaster (played by Laura Dern) lovingly pushes her to attend a cancer support group. While attending the said support group, Hazel locks eyes with Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort) and from then on, a blossoming relationship begins.
Willem Dafoe. What the hell, Dafoe. I'm accustomed to seeing him in the less mainstream films (such as Lars von Trier's Antichrist and Nymphomaniac). This appearance is simultaneously unnerving and baffling, to say the least. He plays Peter Van Houten, a caricature of a pissed-off writer whose last book had caught the admiration of lead character Hazel. Subsequently, the two teens travel to meet him in a scene that can only be described as saddening and utterly bizarre. Eventually, he's villainous behavior is given an explanation in an attempt to give his character depth.
Making out at Anne Frank's exhibition. Ugh, people actually watched them passionately make out and started clapping and cheering. I've read other people's takes on this scene being quite fitting considering Anne Frank's narration was playing as Hazel struggled to make it up the stairs of the exhibition. I do not agree. Why would a crowd of people surround you and applaud you, no matter the situation? It felt unrealistic and out of place.
Drama central. From this, I mean the all the talk of dealing with tragedy, cancer, death and consequently having to do so at such a young age. The main characters, Augustus and Hazel try to uncover their lives impact, the meaning of life and aim to experience their short times on earth together. Laura Dern delivered a splendid and non-standardized portrayal of a parent with a terminally ill child.
Funny bits. So that audiences do not sob throughout the entire movie, The Fault in Our Stars has incorporated dashes of comedy. Especially seen in the encounters with their mutual friend Isaac (Nat Wolff). I'll admit that a few of the sickly sweet dialogue between the couple made for some chucklesome scenes.
That cigarette close to death metaphor. It can only be described as an agonizingly reoccurring bit. Augustus never failed to have an unlit cigarette hanging out of his mouth (being seated on an airplane, rocking up in a limo etc.)