Monday, June 30, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars

My daughter left for her summer course yesterday. Before she left, she wanted us to see The Fault in Our Stars together, but that required me to read it first. So that's what I did last week.

I was unspoiled for it, but I suspected in the first chapter what would happen, so when I was proved right, I was prepared for it. My daughter expected me to bawl my eyes out, but that just didn't happen as I was reading. It did, however, happen on the last page with the bit about the eulogy. It wasn't the gut-wrenching experience she kept telling me was going to happen, but it was still a good book.

I didn't expect any of that to happen for the movie, and it didn't. Not that the movie wasn't good, but in all honesty, I just don't think Ansel Elgort is that good of an actor. I didn't particularly care for him in Divergent, either, and when his character is so pivotal, it meant I was emotionally disconnected from most of the movie. I don't find him very cute, either, so I can't even be superficial in appreciating him. Shailene Woodley was pretty good, and I was all right that they Hollywood-ized the ending. It still had tremendous impact and made Van Houten more palatable.

The scenes that did get to me? Laura Dern's. She played the mom, so it makes perfect sense that her anguish over her daughter's illness, when I have my own daughter sitting next to me, would resonate the strongest. The dad's pretty throwaway, which is a shame because I loved that he was portrayed as a man who could cry in the book, but Dern more than made up for it.

So I would still recommend the movie. It's pretty well done. My problems with Ansel are just my bugaboos, and not one person I've talked to about him or this movie has the same issue. The book is still better, though.

And reading it let me cross off the "book with a blue cover" space on my reading bingo challenge, which was proving to be a bear. :)