The Fault in Our Stars premiered today, and it’s already generating some excellent reviews – almost all of which mention uncontrollable sobbing and an abundance of feels. Because none of us will be able to see the movie until later this weekend, Jessi and Caitlin are substituting this week’s Film Fest Friday with a discussion of their excitement/anxiety over the adaptation of one of their favorite YA books, ever. Look for our group review next week!
Why do you love TFIOS?
Caitlin recommended this book to me two-ish years ago. I’m pretty sure I sent her multiple shouty caps texts in the wee hours of the morning…on a school night. I couldn’t put it down, but I’d have to take little breaks to absorb, reflect, and cry. That part toward the end when they’re at the place with Gus before you know what happens and everyone is real and crying and its so beautiful and tragic (no spoilers from this kid) made my heart literally ache. More than a pinch…like, clutching my chest. I CAN’T HANDLE SO MANY FEELINGS.
In the wake of reading some fairly inflammatory things (even from the star of the movie herself) about how adolescent the story is, I took it upon myself to reread it and see if my initial gut reaction was still there. I feel now, as I felt the first time I read this book that it is a lovely, profound story about the human experience – living, dying and loving. It hurts, but so does life. That’s kind of the point – that just because the experience is hard, doesn’t mean it’s not worth having. I just found it to be kind of special.
There’s this part at the beginning of the book where the main character, Hazel, is debating whether to share her favorite book with someone new: “Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books like An Imperial Affliction, which you can’t tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.”
For TFIOS, I fell somewhere in the middle – I really wanted people to read it and have the experience I had, but at the same time, my experience was MINE, and I didn’t want it to become tainted by picking it apart or by other people’s opinions. (Though, of course I shared it with Jessi and Erin, because duh).
Do you think the movie is going to capture the book, or will it just be a crying rom com?
I’m nervous, guys. When I hear the actors speak their lines in the previews, the words sound…weird. I accepted the book as the straight up TRUTH, but the previews make my eyebrows furrow in confusion. I just can’t put my finger on it. It’s the delivery, right? There’s nothing wrong with the words. I just hope it doesn’t sound like everyone reciting quotes.
Yeah, and I’m going to start crying when they dim the lights.
I have a lot of mixed feelings about this, but ultimately, I never really wanted to see the film. I honestly never wanted it to even be that popular, because of the aforementioned feelings of the sacred experience and I thought it being overly popular would somehow cheapen it. We’ll see. I know that John Green was extremely involved in the film, and some early reviews say that its good.
I did read one that said TFIOS is the “Titanic of our generation” and that just makes me want to bail. And the overuse of “Okay? Okay.” in the marketing is just awful.
What are you hoping to see in the movie?
I’m not sure what I’m hoping to see. I usually reread the book the day before I’m to see the movie adaptation. However, I then know too many details from the book and can’t enjoy the movie for what it is. I haven’t reread TFIOS in a while, so we’ll see how that goes.
I’m just hoping that it’s not a rom-com sad porn that people watch because they like to cry and over-romanticize being sad. (Admittedly, I am over romanticizing this book a bit – but I swear, it’s got a lot more to do with personal life experiences and feelings than swooning over the romance.) I hope it’s charming and funny and sincere – and I hope people see it and have a slightly different outlook on life afterward.
Is TFIOS the greatest book in the world or the greatest?
Is this rhetorical?