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Tuesday, June 03, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars


Last night, my friend and I were lucky enough to attend the premiere of The Fault in Our Stars, and the scene was WILD...
As we approached the Ziegfeld Theater on 54th Street, we could hear the throngs of screaming teenage girls pressed up against the red carpet. We made our way through the crowds, rode up the escalators and settled into two velvet seats. Girls ran down the aisles with giant autograph boards and Sharpies, and shrieked hysterically whenever cast members came into the room. It felt like a Beatles concert!

I had enjoyed the book—about a 16-year-old cancer patient who falls in love with a guy in her support group—but to be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect from the movie. Would it feel too young or glossy?
And then the movie began.

The three young actors had great chemistry (Shailene Woodley was especially fantastic), and the story stayed incredibly true to the book. I found myself quoting lines in my head as the actors said them, or remembering the book's prose during a quiet moment. And while the movie wasn't particularly nuanced—and some of the supporting roles, like the parents, felt one-dimensional—the beautifully paced film draws you right in and makes you fall in love with the characters.

By the end, we were weeping in our seats.
One funny part of the experience was watching the movie with a theatre packed with teenage girls. Every onscreen wink got a riotous squeal, every kiss got a collective "awwww," and the floor was littered with tissues at the end. The main actor—Ansel Elgort—was definitely a crowd pleaser:)

Also, if you're curious, New York Magazine had an intriguing piece about Shailene Woodley ("When she’s not working, Woodley likes to disappear...She doesn’t have a permanent home or cell phone—preferring to couch-surf at her friends’ houses...When she’s feeling ill, she makes tea out of pine needles (apparently a great source of vitamin C); she brushes her teeth with clay and whitens them by swishing sesame oil in her mouth for 20 minutes...") and the NYTimes had a fascinating article about why the director didn't originally want to meet with her.

Will you see it? The movie opens this Friday, and I'd definitely recommend it.

P.S. 20 great documentaries.

57 comments:

timogloria said...

didn't originally want to meet with her ;)

Sheila said...

I liked the book a lot. I thought it was very sweet. Honestly what's even more interesting to me is the new brand of author we're seeing in John Green. With his Youtube channels and other outlets he's so present and available. It would be interesting to hear how much his other pursuits have increased the exposure and excitement for the book and consequently the film.

Joanna Goddard said...

thanks, timogloria!

Joanna Goddard said...

yes, so interesting, sheila. he's such an interactive author.

Becca Gilgan said...

My friend just texted me earlier today inviting me to the premiere in Toronto tomorrow night (her mum won tickets)! I haven't read the book, so I really don't know what to expect! But reading this post has definitely made me more intrigued and excited!

Gemma FleetingPlanet said...

Ooh! This is exciting. I fell in love with the book and have been patiently waiting for the film, whilst also being nervous about it. Y'know, because of the film ruining the book thing.

Thank you for your thoughtful review. I am definitely going to watch the film. With tissues.

Gemma
http://fleetingplanet.blogspot.co.uk

Elizabeth S. said...

My high school students mentioned this movie to me. I dismissed it in my mind, but maybe it's worth giving if a chance! Thanks for sharing! :)

Elizabeth S. said...

My high school students mentioned this movie to me. I dismissed it in my mind, but maybe it's worth giving if a chance! Thanks for sharing! :)

Elizabeth Park said...

I can't wait!!!

shawn said...

NO. I want to stay far, far away. I completely appreciate the plot and the experiences of these characters (and those who are fans), but it's like a Hollywood formula for me. Young couple meets through awkward circumstances, young couple falls in love, one person in the couple dies (I'm guessing).

Also, I hate putting myself in situations where I'll leave the theater sad and miserable. Brings up too many personal memories. Sorry!

Joanna Goddard said...

shawn, i know what you mean! i'm the same way about scary movies—it's just not enjoyable for me.

Meadow said...

Nah, I won't see it... I don't really jump on the young adult bandwagon. I guess this is the next Twilight/Hunger Games. I would not pay to see a movie about a girl who died from cancer in real life, either. I like my movies/TV shows to be light and entertaining. This sounds anything but. I remember a few years back when I went to see PS: I Love You with my friends... I had no idea what it was going to be about and I swear, it traumatized me. I prefer action movies!!

Anna said...

I'm looking forward to it, but based on how I cried through the last 50 pages, I better bring an entire box of tissues. Such a sweet story!

nina | itsazooatthezoo.blogspot.com said...

I so loved this book and I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed the movie so much. It gives me hope!

Carrie said...

I don't usually read modern fiction but I will read this book. I work with low-income girls who don't like to read but they are all excited to read this book! It must be amazing!

claudia scalise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sarah said...

I used to love how quirky Shailene is until her recent article about why she isn't a feminist because she 'doesn't hate men'. I thought it was such a naive and destructive thing to say and it really turned me off her big time.

Amanda aka MamaRobot said...

I agree with Sarah...that was such a bummer to read. It's not even that she has differing views than my own, it's that she misidentified feminism for the generation of girls that listen to her. I'm even more disappointed after reading the New York Magazine article, because she comes across as very smart and different...I really want to like her.

Meadow said...

@sarah: A lot of us just don't like the term 'feminist'. I don't like the man-hating "I can open my own door thank you very much" connotations. I suppose since I believe in equality for the sexes, I am a feminist... I would never refer to myself as one, however. That's the impression I got when I read the article you're referring to... that Shailene believes in equality yadda yadda, she just doesn't want to be associated with that word. She is living proof that she doesn't have to stick to some label to succeed in a male dominated industry. She just does her own thing and I respect her for that. Read some of her other quotes and you'll see how she is probably more feminist than most of us.

LeeLee said...

Loved the book. I am looking forward to seeing movie.

Erin W. said...

I haven't read it but I heard that the book was great! I'm not sure how I feel about Shailene Woodley, she may be a good actress, but she gives some questionable health advice (specifically about eating clay) and her comments on feminism annoyed me.

Erin W. said...

However, I think her acting and her personal life really have nothing to do with each other. Just generally I think people can take what celebrities say to heart, as though they are experts on everything, when they may or may not know a lot about it.

Karen Travels said...

I thought the book was too young and glossy. I don't get the hype, but I appear to be the only one in America who read the book and thinks this, lol.

RoselyC said...

I have heard great things about the book but haven't had a chance to read it. I would definitely watch the movie.

Mary Glenn said...

I don't know...I loved the book SO much and I have these pictures in my head about the characters...I usually skip movies based on books I loved. The Help was a good movie after the amazing book though, so maybe I should do this one...

Jenna Lombardi said...

Loved the book- the author wrote it in a way that pulls you in and makes you connect deeply. It's written in such a way that honestly made me love the characters even more than the plot! I haven't always been a huge fan of Wooley, but your review makes me a little more excited about the movie :)

Bri said...

As I was reading the book I went from loving the story, to hating it, to loving it again. Fickle, right?! I'm looking forward to seeing the movie, even more so after hearing that you found it true to the book.

Jenna Lombardi said...

*Woodley :)

Jill Sorensen-LiveLikeYou said...

Only after your review - now want to see the movie!

Elizabeth Ayoub said...

I so want to see it! I loved the book and am so happy that you recommend and vote that it's true to the story!

Kendriana said...

Shailene Woodley... don't know about her. She made some pretty strange comments about feminism.

Marie Adamo said...

Meadow, I agree with you that Shailene is probably a feminist and just doesn't like the term - due to ignorance and buying into stereotypes. But dismissing the people who call themselves feminists as 'man-hating' is destructive. She says she doesn't like how 'women turn on each other' - but I feel like her dismissing feminists as man-hating is doing exactly that.
This is just one example of how our culture perpetuates gender stereotypes in a very sneaky and complex way.

Lily L-M said...

I haven't read the book yet so am thinking I ought to before seeing the movie!

x Lily
http://whilemyboyfriendsaway.blogspot.com/

Camilla said...

Can'tt wait to see it! <3

XOXO
http://www.mademoiselleparis.com.br/

Rekha Monger said...

OMG! Finally the wait is over. I have read the book and loved it. Waiting for the movie. Will defintely see it with a roll of tissues hehe :).

Audrey Lin said...

I'm not a huge fan of Shai's acting, but I loveee TFIOS so I'm really happy that you particularly enjoyed her! I look forward to watching TFIOS in theaters next week :) -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

Sammi Egan said...

I am a huge John Green fan, I don't think his books are just for young adults- they've got a reach for everyone. Particularly TFIOS. I am looking forward to seeing the movie, but it's a little close to home so I'm waiting for the DVD ;)

Kelsey Long said...

That is awesome that you got to see the premier! It sounds like it was quite an experience! Can't wait to see it:)

~Kels
www.excusemyblog.com

Leah said...

Looks like a great film. I think I'll read the book before I see the movie, it's always better anyway.

Lauren E. said...

I might be the minority here but I wasn't a huge fan of the book. I couldn't get past the "teen speak" with all the "likes" and whatnot.

megan said...

This is the next book to read on my list. I always read the book first and then just to compare I'll watch the movie. So far I'm hearing great things about it.

Maureen SIM said...

Seeing the movie this weekend and can't wait!

collette said...

I have the book and will read it next, but honestly it just looks like "A Walk to Remember" so I'm curious about the hype surrounding it.

bananastand said...

Joanna, I saw a preview of "Obvious Child" last night, and let me tell you, you are going to LOVE it. You should try to do an interview with the director/writer and/or lead actress.

traci said...

i am looking forward to seeing this. just finished the book a couple weeks ago. i really love the actress she is very talented. thanks for the review.

girlseeksplace said...

I love Shailene Woodley, so I'll eventually watch it because of her. I've loved her since The Descendants. However, I read about five pages of the book and didn't really get the hype. I do wonder how many babies born in the next few months will be named Hazel Grace.

wanderlustywriter said...

Ah I can't wait! Jealous you got to see the premiere, though I don't like crowds so I'm probably going to be waiting at least a month to see this, and go at some weird time like 11 AM.

And The Fault in Our Stars is NOTHING like A Walk To Remember, the main difference being that it's a well-written, well-told story.

Branislava Radicevic said...

I enjoyed the book. Hopefully, I will like the movie. For me, the book was very real. I volunteered for 8 years in two children's hospitals. My "job" was to hang out with the sick kids. I consider myself so blessed by the experience and richer for it. These kids taught me so much about life and how to have grace and humor when you are not at your best.

Branislava Radicevic said...

I enjoyed the book. Hopefully, I will like the movie. For me, the book was very real. I volunteered for 8 years in two children's hospitals. My "job" was to hang out with the sick kids. I consider myself so blessed by the experience and richer for it. These kids taught me so much about life and how to have grace and humor when you are not at your best.

LOCK889 said...

really wanna see both the book and the movie in Indonesia...Personally,i'd like to say their love is that pure.How both love each other despite the weakness they both have.Tears, of course, tissue, yes, I bet..."just the way you are?".The words are hanging around in our mind. Am i right?

Sofia Donatelli said...

I just finished reading the book and I have tickets to watch the movie on Friday. I can't wait!

Hope you have a wonderful day.
Sofia

stylishlyinlove.blogspot.com

Anastasia said...

I think Im the only who wasnt so fussed with this book - I mean it was an okay read but didnt really interest me...still having said that I will go see the movie

emily0717 said...

Your original post about this book actually prompted me to read it. I don't usually "do" sad books. I was kind of blown away by it. It is so respectful of youth and not at all dismissive of - or cliche - about young love. The dialogue was laugh out loud funny, so smart. The questions to two main characters pose about life and leaving a mark in this world - and if it's important and how you should and will (or will not) be remembered really impressed and resonated with me. It's one of those books that you want to hug to your chest you love it so much.

mabe said...

I definitely want to see the movie, I loved the book but I don't know if I can make it through the whole thing knowing he will eventually die... okay?

bisbee said...

I've got the book on my iPad...planning to read it after I finish another book. I think I will see the movie...after I read it.

Jessica W. said...

I read the book along with my 13 year old daughter after a mention on the Today show as it being a good book for a mother and daughter to read. I'm so glad I did. We couldn't wait for the opening and went last night. It was fun to see in a crowded theater of teenaged girls/kids. And it brought up some great dialog between the two of us. I found a great lesson as a parent as well. I've always tried to let my children make their own decisions. As a parent of a sick child, that would be incredibly hard to do. I loved that these kids were able to have "their story".

Katie Huxtable said...

I was and still am a massive fan of the book, but recently the whole speculation around it has put me off watching the film. A story that was so raw and heart breaking had a really special place in my heart, yet after the film poster appeared in my school corridor and with all the young girls at my school screaming around it without even reading the first page the magical feeling surrounding it has sort of died down a little for me. I was also worried that the film wouldn't stay true to the book, but I think your post has possibly been the thing I needed to get up and book my tickets.

I really love your blog by the way, and because I've been blogging for about 6 months now a friend of mine recommended you. I'm really enjoying your posts and what you have to say.

Katie http://www.katiehuxtable.com/

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