The Fault In Our Stars [2014]

Directed by: Josh Boone
Written by: Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber; based on the novel by John Green
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe, Mike Birbiglia

It’s not like we needed another movie about smitten teenagers, but the heavily hyped The Fault in Our Stars is an unexpectedly poignant story about two people who found love in a hopeless place. Wait… did I just quote Rihanna?

What I’m trying to say is that it comes as a surprise that the adaptation of a YA novel about two cool, attractive kids with cancer falling in love, texting and traveling to Amsterdam is actually low on the cheese and admirably restrained.

Kudos to writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber ([500] Days of Summer), as well as director Josh Boone, for resisting the urge to force tears and actually letting the story and the cast do their work – the underrated and stunningly beautiful Shailene Woodley is superb and almost single-handedly elevates what would be a much less effective picture without her shimmering presence.

Admittedly, a few lines of dialog made the cynic in me cringe a little, but TFIOS is a hip, funny and thoroughly moving film that doesn’t trivialize something as a terminal illness, but instead deals with death with, ironically, an invigorating matter-of-factness.

Many thanks to 20th Century Fox Mexico for inviting me to the special screening.