Friday, June 6, 2014
The Fault in Our Stars and Words and Pictures (click for post), not only are both of these films being released on the same day, but I feel these two reviews are more or less companion posts, as both movies share the themes of love of literature and falling in love while dealing with physical limitations beyond one's control.
Interestingly, I was just about the youngest person at the screening of Words and Pictures, (not a matinee), and at The Fault in Our Stars screening, the audience was mostly made up of teenage girls leaving the movie ecstatic to be in tears.
Yes, most young adults love angst. But surprisingly, The Fault in Our Stars, based on the best selling novel by John Green, and directed by Josh Boone is not just appealing to the younger set who have made Shailene Woodley (see T&T Divergent post) the "it girl" of the moment. The film has great timing and beats and somehow, even though it deals with disabilities, cancer, falling in love and dying young, the film manages not to be schmaltzy, overly dramatic, soap opera-ish or cliched.
Both young actors, Woodley as Hazel and her Divergent co-star Ansel Elgort as Augustus Waters, give truly likable performances as 17 and 18 year-old cancer survivors, who never deny that life has dealt them each a bad hand, but manage to fall in love like any young couple - starting with, will he or won't he call, flirtatious texts, hanging out and making an everyday word like "Okay" take on relationship meaning. The only thing missing was a stupid fight, misunderstanding or jealousy. But that is where their relationship would differ from that of healthy teens; as Hazel is never without the breathing assistance of an oxygen tank and Augustus is sporting a prosthetic leg, life is too precious to both of them to waste time on a silly lover's quarrel.
Instead the movie focuses on Hazel's dream of getting answers to the ending of a book she's obsessed with called "An Imperial Affliction" by Peter Van Houten, she lends the book to Augustus who becomes equally enamored of the sacred text and determines to contact the reclusive writer, so that Hazel's questions regarding the fate of the characters left behind after the main character dies mid-sentence, can be answered. It's not hard to figure out that Hazel's need is due to her own fears of what will become of her parents (Laura Dern who btw still looks great) & Sam Trammell) once she's gone, as their lives have revolved around her illness for the last 5 years.
There's a delightful food in film moment that takes place in Amsterdam during the couple's first official date, dining at a posh restaurant, eating dragon, carrot risotto and sipping Dom Perignon, which their waiter tells them the creator of the famed champagne compared his first sip to drinking the stars.
As with #WordsandPictures, I found it beautiful to see characters who, due to their illness, are not in a sexy period of their lives, find their sexuality and revel in it!
I'm sure every decade has a movie that you love because you're balling your eyes out; however, I truly think Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort in #TFIOS could be what Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal were to Love Story for audiences in 1970.
Around the WebShailene: In this day and age when our society is so obsessed with fear of the future, a movie like this reminds us to be present in the moment. You can worry all you want and feel guilty all you want, but all we’re guaranteed are moments. DallasNews.com READ MORE
Woodley and Elgort talking about their secret fetishes.
And this one is with the novelist, John Green, who was on set throughout the filming of the movie, and who I found to be so charismatic, he could easily be in front of the camera instead of behind the book.
T &T's LAMB Score: 4 outta 5
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