If you’re a friend of mine, or a reader of this blog, or even if you just spent two minutes talking to me, you’ll know how much of a bookworm I am. I love to read, to discover new books and new stories. But even with the quantity of books I get to read in a year, some stick with me more than others. And some grip me in a way that only very few do.
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green was one of those books. It isn’t a unique story about a unique subject and unique people. In fact, just by reading the summary, you’d guess that there are a lot of similar stories out there. Teenagers, young love, and cancer. I’d guess that a good half of all current books within the YA fiction genre is a story like that. And yet, TFIOS is special. Which is why it quickly became one of my favorite books and why I was so afraid of seeing the movie.
This fear was completely remedied when I went to see it yesterday. I went by myself which may have been a bad idea because I ended up in tears, as I’d predicted. Halfway through the movie I decided it wasn’t gonna get any better and started digging around in my bag in search of my tissues. Unable to fine them in the dark, I just ended up crying all over myself. I’d recently discussed the pro’s and con’s of waterproof mascara with a friend and yup, this movie provided me with an excellent case.
The movie was everything I wanted it to be and more. The cast was on point. They looked like ordinary kids while still making you fall in love with their characters all over again. That had been one of my biggest fears, that these people would be too much, too smooth, too Hollywood. The other thing I worried about was that the story had been edited to the point of no recognition. All of John Green’s stories are special, but they’re also about ordinary people and they lack every bit of unnecessary glamour. I was afraid that the script writers would add that to TFIOS to make it more cinema-friendly. And that they’d add more drama. The real drama of the book isn’t the cancer itself, it isn’t death and it isn’t loss but it is the unfairness of life. You find something good in your life and it gets snatched away. Bad things happen to good people. And it’s never nice when something bad happens to you but imagine knowing that it will happen. Imagine being fatally ill and knowing what lies ahead and that you can’t plan too far ahead. And the movie brought that out perfectly. But it also showed the good moments, the joy of having found happiness and, what I especially liked about the story, that when you find that certain someone, it doesn’t matter if you have a day, a year or a whole life together. You just enjoy every second of it, no matter what will happen tomorrow.
In the movie, the story was just as raw and unexcited as it was in the book. It showed the ugly sides of the cancer without being unnecessarily over the top (it is for young adults, of course), it depicted young love without being cheesy and it had that certain little spark that makes every Green story unique.
Now, I only have to see the original version. Because if I had one complaint it would be the terrible, terrible German dubbing.