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Total Film | The Fault In Our Stars Review


From the get-go the protagonist of this YA bestseller adap about terminally ill teens assures us this story is a not a sugar-coated Hollywood fable where everything can be fixed. “I like that version as much as the next girl does,” voiceovers 16-year-old Hazel (Shailene Woodley). “It’s just not the truth.”

Instead, Hazel’s truth is that it “bites” having incurable cancer, and dying sucks because the patient feels a responsibility to lessen the emotional casualties affected by their passing. Which is why Hazel isn’t about to go falling for the cocky in-remission kid, Gus (Ansel Elgort), in her cringy cancer support group or start to embrace the short, oxygen-fed life she has left…

But this is a Hollywood fable – and though John Green’s adored novel deals bluntly with the harsh realities of cancer, TFIOS is nevertheless a bittersweet uplifter. So this slick and smart adap is, inevitably, button-pushing to a degree. Whether you relish that depends upon your predilection for the Beaches, 50/50s and Shadowlands of this world. Keeping a cap on the sap are Woodley and Elgort (previously Divergentsiblings), who manage to deliver potentially crawly moments with clear-eyed integrity and charm.

A faithful adap that walks the mawk line thanks to the Woodley’s naturalistic charm consolidating her standing as a compelling actress who can lead a film. Spidey 2 missed a trick…

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