An (Almost) Faultless Masterpiece | Nick Olszyk | CWR
The Fault in Our Stars can be seen as a theodicy of sorts, a film about how to find love and meaning amid so much pain and suffering
MPAA Rating, PG-13
USCCB Rating, A-III
Reel Rating: (4 Reels out of 5)
The Fault in Our Stars is a difficult, painful story about cancer-stricken teenagers; it is also one of the most beautiful films ever made about romantic love. It has the courage to approach the frequently trodden—yet nearly always disappointing—genre of “Young Adult” (YA) romance with surprisingly youthful vigor considering its deep subject matter (and without Mandy Moore or sparkling vampires). What a treat! It’s rare to see a film turn almost every expectation on its head in such thrilling fashion.
Put simply, this is a tale of true love, a love forged in the crucible of pain, suffering, and devotion. While it is lacking in addressing spiritual questions, it is profound in its approach to human relationships.
Hazel Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) is an average sixteen year-old girl who likes books and thinks her parents are embarrassing. But she also has cancer, which requires her to carry around extra oxygen wherever she goes. Her mother forces her to go to an unreasonably lame Christian cancer support group where she meets Gus Waters (Ansel Elgort), a likeable dreamboat whose recent and successful battle with cancer left him without one leg but in possession of a fresh, exciting perspective on life.
Hazel is obsessed with a serious, dark novel titled, An Imperial Affliction, written by a recluse Salinger-esque Dutch author, which is about a similar cancer patient and which ends, maddeningly, in mid-sentence.