“What a slut time is. She screws everybody.” – John Green, The Fault In Our Stars
Yes, I cry when watching emotional movies. But I’ve never made guttural, out-of-this-world, weeping noises while watching a film — until I saw The Fault In Our Stars.
Don’t allow this to turn you away. It isn’t one of those pointless films, emotionally jabbing you until you weep, making you regret your decision to watch it.
TFIOS isn’t a portrayal of the unrealistic lives of young adults that we so often see on the big screen.
It’s a film about two people on the brink of adulthood being slapped in the face with reality but refusing to let it define what’s left of their lives.
The film follows 17-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) and 18-year-old Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort) as they approach their different battles with cancer.
Hazel’s mother is concerned about her and strongly encourages (forces) her to go to a support group for people with cancer.
Hazel meets Augustus in “the literal heart of Jesus,” also known as the church basement where the meetings take place.
That’s where their story begins.
Hazel is sure she will die of the thyroid cancer she’s battled for years, leaving her emotionally torn parents to grieve her.
She must wheel oxygen with her wherever she goes, and seemingly simple tasks like walking down a flight of stairs are nearly impossible for her.
Augustus has lost a leg to cancer, and he fears he won’t have the time necessary to make a name for himself.
So we have two completely different people: a girl whose only desire is her parents’ ability to go on after her imminent death and a boy whose greatest fear is “oblivion.”
It’s what makes the film beautiful: the realistic portrayal and connection of two very different people with similar battles.
We see all the intimate moments that make up what Hazel describes as their “little infinity” — the sight of Hazel gasping for breath as she descends the stairs into Augustus’ room, the quiet moment holding hands in a hospital room and the infamous scene on a park bench in Amsterdam.
They both learn something from the other.
Augustus encourages Hazel to live in the moment and accept that her parents will make it without her, and Hazel shows Augustus that their love story is enough, whether it’s remembered or not.
I went through an entire box of tissues by the time I finished watching the film. My mascara had run down my cheeks, and tissues dotted my entire living room floor.
My tears had nothing to do with the ending but everything to do with the in-between.
The reality of our limited time on this planet, our desperate desire to connect and our deepest need to be heard were portrayed beautifully.
I’ve never seen a film that portrayed my generation, and all the messiness of growing up, so well.
It isn’t an inspiring film. It doesn’t encourage you to make a name for yourself or spend the time you have on this Earth wisely.
It simply made me feel what I feel when I read a good book: a little less alone.