Thursday, May 29, 2014

Guest Post by Spencer Blohm - Movie: The Fault in our Stars


        For fans of John Green’s books, The Fault in Our Stars is often cited as a favorite, despite its relatively dark storyline. It tells the story of two teens who meet in a cancer support group; Hazel, whose thyroid cancer has spread to her lungs (causing her to constantly need the support of an oxygen tank) and Augustus, whose osteosarcoma is gone, but who lost his leg to the disease. The book follows the two teens as their friendship progresses into an emotionally charged romance.
        The film adaptation of TFIOS is set to debut in theaters on June 6th, and it’s already gathering some major buzz around it. The fact that it’s based on a best-selling YA book was enough to create a good amount of discussion, but the additional knowledge that it is also starring current Young Hollywood “It” girl Shailene Woodley in the lead role has only added fuel to the fire. Opposite Woodley is up and comer Ansel Elgort; the two previously worked alongside each other in another YA film adaptation, The Spectacular Now (which you should really catch streaming on Netflix or on demand through DirecTV because it’s a great, underrated, movie). Joining them in supporting roles are Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe, and Nat Wolff.

        What is sure to set TFIOS apart from the pack of other YA film adaptations is the large role Green had in the film’s production. He was on set almost every day, working alongside the film’s stars, director, and producers to make sure his book was fully realized on screen. The reasoning behind his heavy involvement, as he told the Los Angeles Times was that, "I felt like most of the movie versions would be exactly what I didn't want it to be: sentimental and maudlin — everything the book was trying to speak against." He and Temple Hill Entertainment (who purchased the rights to the book) entrusted screenwriting duo Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter to adapt the book (the duo, unsurprisingly, were also the screenwriters for The Spectacular Now). Despite not having a hand in the screenplay, Green gave it his blessing, even saying, "When I saw their draft, I liked the ending better than I liked the ending of my book."
        This, of course, leads us to the content of the film itself, of which not much is known. Aside from a few fan screenings scattered here and there, any and all press reviews have been embargoed until the day the film is released. What we do know, is that the film will be scored with music from the indie band Bright Eyes and features a new track by Ed Sheeran, as well as songs by Tom Odell, Lykke Li, Charlie XCX, M83, & Jake Bugg to name a few (you can purchase the album now on Amazon).

Aside from the album, much of what we know about the film is from those lucky fans that were able to go to a fan screening. The Huffington Post’s Leigh Blickley was able to attend one of those screenings and wrote of her experience: “The hysteria that ensued in this theater was so soul-crushing that I wondered if someone should call an ambulance.” Echoing Blickley’s sentiments was Collider’s Steven Weintraub, who tweeted that “every person in the theater cried” and Novel Thought’s Jeremy West also tweeted following a special screening that the film “will break you and make you weep.”

         It looks like those calling this film the teen version of The Notebook might not be that far off after all...

Spencer Blohm is a freelance entertainment, culture, and lifestyle blogger. He lives and works in Chicago. When not working he can be found camped out in his apartment watching the latest films and newest television shows.

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