The Fault in Our Stars: An Emotional Ride


“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world…but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.” 

Forgive me if I start reciting lines from the romantic dramedy The Fault in Our Stars, but this is just one of the many unforgettable quotable quotes you’re going to take with you after watching the film adaptation of the novel.

Written by John Green, The Fault in Our Stars tells the story of the life and struggles of Hazel Grace Lancaster, a sixteen year old cancer patient. Diagnosed at age 13 with Stage 4 thyroid cancer that has spread to her lungs, Hazel battles with the struggles of life when faced with imminent death. As the shadow of the inevitable becomes harder to ignore, Hazel’s mother pushes her to join a cancer support group to connect with teenage cancer patients and to get her out of her depressive rut. Enter cancer survivor Augustus Waters.

Amputee with a larger than life personality, Augustus (nicknamed Gus) charmed the reluctant Hazel into his life though she insists they should stay friends. But as the story progressed, it got harder for Hazel to shun Gus’ romantic advances. To Hazel’s amazement, Gus manages to track down Peter van Houten, the author of Hazel’s favourite novel “An Imperial Affliction” and even planned a trip to Amsterdam so they could meet the writer.

After a scare at the ICU, Hazel is finally able to jet to Amsterdam with Gus and her mother to meet Peter van Houten. Unfortunately, the writer happens to be a rude drunk who doesn’t want anything to do with them. Though the meeting is quite disappointing, Hazel and Gus have the best time together as Hazel comes to terms with her strong, more-than-just-friends feelings for Gus. After professing their love for each other, Gus reveals that he has recently found out that his cancer has returned and has spread everywhere. Hazel now has to deal with the painfully beautiful circumstances of love and loss.

It’s no surprise that during the duration of the film, muffled cries were heard everywhere in the theatre. OK, we were surrounded by a sea of female tweens who are obviously big fans of this novel and of this sappy genre, but you can’t say that they were crying just because they are hormonal, they were crying for a valid reason. The Fault in Our Stars was touching in many ways. I shed a few tears myself, it was really hard not to.

This movie is an emotional ride, but it also has the perfect amount of humour, wit, romance, and tragedy that will keep you glued to the big screen. It’s a chick flick with depth as it touches a heavy subject of death while adding a lighter spin to it. The dialogue between characters will make your ears perk up and laugh at times. It is good storytelling with zero dull moments. You can thank the well-written script for that and the cast for a notable performance.

Shailene Woodley’s portrayal of Hazel Grace was well done. You can feel the sadness in her, and, when she’s happy, you are there with her, so you root for her, you want her happiness. Woodley was obviously successful in making that emotional connection with the audience which is what this film was set out to do. Ansel Elgort’s Augustus Waters did not only charm Hazel Grace but also the rest of the female viewers (I did hear a lot of swooning). He was funny, sweet, and nice to look at; but most importantly, his positive outlook that radiated beyond the movie screen made it easy to fall in love with his character. Also, the rest of the cast delivered and made this movie memorable as a whole.

I have to jump on the “TFIOS bandwagon” and say that The Fault in Our Stars was worth the hype. It will leave you inspired and a bit heartbroken, but after watching this movie, I have decided that I shouldn’t worry about getting my heart broken too much. Quoting Augustus Waters, “It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.”

The Fault in Our Stars is now playing in Vancouver.

Gian Karla Limcangco

Gian Karla Limcangco