So, I saw it. The film. The film of the book that is basically my An Imperial Affliction. (And I love you if you get that reference.)
Oh and in case you thought I was cool, I went to the cinema with OKAY? OKAY scrawled on the backs of my hands. No, seriously.
It's probably not a surprise to anyone that I love the film, but it was probably a bigger surprise to my friend that she loved it. She'd never read the book and she typically hates teen romance drama but I dragged her along anyway. She was sniffling by the end of it and the Fault in Our Stars religion had another devoted follower.
I don't need to recount the plot again because I've basically already summed it up in my All of the Stars post. But Ansel Elgort as Gus is absolute genius and that's not exaggeration. No, seriously. It's not even to do with the fact he is attractive in that kind of innocent teenage-crush kind of way.
|Though that does probably have an effect.|
Anyway, I read the Fault in Our Stars last summer and weirdly enough, Ansel Elgort basically is how I pictured Gus in my head. I don't even know if I knew who he was at this stage so maybe I'm joining Lorde in that weird prophetic thing. Trelawney would be proud.
Shailene Woodley's great as Hazel, who is probably more difficult to bring to life than Gus, who is definitely the more flamboyant of the two and Nat Wolff's kind of adorably huggable as Isaac. Oh and just like in the book, I wanted to climb into the story and drag Monica about by the hair for dumping him right before surgery. News flash for anyone about to lose their eyes: if you can't handle it for a bit, that's OK. If someone else whines about how they can't handle it, you're better off without them. It's my head canon that Isaac finds some girl with a totally awesome voice who he loves to bits and who he gets to spend a life with and that Hazel goes to their wedding. Don't anyone dare tell me that something sadder happens.
To be fair, everyone else is great as well, plus Willem Defoe as Peter Van Houten is kind of a gem of assholery that you want to cheer Hazel for screaming at. My friend's expression when he started playing his rap song was pretty priceless, as was Hazel's retort at the door. Yeah, it wasn't in the book but it still made its' way onto the list of awesome.
Oh, and spoilers. Gus's decline and death is hard to watch. I could hear everyone around me crying as he sat in the gas station, sobbing at the wheel. Even my friend, who'd been convinced she'd sleep through the whole thing, was sniffling next to me. I was not, on the basis that I have a heart of rock and kind of wonder if I am capable of producing tears. But the bit that came closest to squeezing tears out of me was Hazel's flashbacks to a diagnosis and her mother's line "I won't be a mom anymore." It's like a punch in the chest and Laura Dern is awesomely heartbreaking as Hazel's mother.
Even the soundtrack is good. Soundtracks are hilariously easy to get wrong (I remember one time on a TV show, they actually soundtracked an emotional birth scene with a fast-beat techno song and I actually screamed with laughter so hard I woke next-door's baby up.) But the soundtrack here is just right. It works, really works. I mean, I already wrote a whole post about Ed Sheeran, but the other songs are just as good. (There's Jake Bugg. I mean, Jake Bugg. I don't care if he hates interviews, he's like Bob Dylan's little brother.) And there's Charli XCX and I'm sorry, I cannot disrespect her, she's like this goth-pop princess thing that makes my vision go purple red.
Oh, and it's directed by Josh Boone. Josh Boone. I kind of have a hero-crush on Josh Boone, he's that good a director. (Stuck In Love is like this cool little pocket of a story that I want to grab something out of again and again. It's so indie and cool and sweet, I just want to, to quote Gus "take it to Vegas and marry it.) And he's directing Paper Towns.
One of the reasons I love Josh Boone's films is that they just tell the story. They're almost unobtrusive in how cool the direction is, they just make you forget about it and focus on the story and the characters. And then you think about it afterwards and you realise how clever it was and how cleverly the film focused at the right moments and how much thought went into it and it's like a really nice gift that Josh Boone made just for you. And that sort of back-to-the-story mentality really suits The Fault in Our Stars.
Oh, and it's John Green who wrote it, and he's another person I have a hero-crush on because it's John Green. I think the phrase "It's John Green" should qualify for most explanations.
It's John Green and the film is awesome. I mean, I know there's been some whining about blah-blah-they-look-awfully-healthy-for-cancer-victims but seriously, they get most of the details of cancer right. Hazel's cannula's always there, we see Gus's leg and for the people who said it was inaccurate Gus didn't lose his hair, it's perfectly accurate that some forms of chemotherapy, including the one they used for Gus, would not make him lose his hair.
It was a great film. It was great, it was funny, it was sad, and it was hilariously sobbingly I--Love-This and this thing is brilliant and one of the things that make you think about everything endlessly and wish the characters were real and-it's great. See it.
Plus, in one scene, Hazel has Calvin and Hobbes books in her room. Just in case it couldn't get any better.