So I waited until two days ago to read the incredibly famous The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. On purpose of course; to maximize the amazing TFIOS concentration that I anticipated with today’s release of the movie based on the book.
I read 200 pages of the book on Wednesday, and the rest yesterday. Flew through it. No slogging to be done. Very good book. I teared up a few times, during the opening pages even. The writing is very good, the caliber I expected from John Green. There is even a few “Likes” and references to parental irrelevance/separation to remind us that the story is told from the perspective of a teenage girl.
I was a little nervous about seeing the movie for fear of verbatim quotes from the book being butchered into something cheesy and contrived. That is what usually happens for me, and is one of the main reasons why I believe books are most often better than the movie. And I must admit, there was some of this. Two reasons: one, no real person would ever say those words in that situation at that moment; or two, the acting didn’t hide the fact that it was a scripted line. However, this was minimally distracting this time. The cringe-factor was very, very low.
Another thing I usually worry about when watching a film adaption is how closely the plot will be followed— if anything will be changed such that the essence of the book will be lost on the screen. While there are definite changes made to accommodate the time restraint and simplification of plot required for an engaging film, the core of TFIOS remains intact. In fact, some of the elaborations made on the thoughts behind the actions during the movie made it even more endearing to me.
On top of that, the movie capitalized on the dramatic tear-jerking scenes from the book which didn’t even register on my tear-scale while reading. Every instance of vulnerability, redemption, fear, and sadness minimally described in the book were portrayed beautifully with emotion that jumped off of the screen and into my throat during the movie. I realize that some may have a problem with this, but it really did make the movie that much better.
I suspect that anyone who hasn’t read the book OR has the benefit of more separation between read and watch would be able to avoid the only downers for me in the film— the contrived nature of some of the lines. For those who have not read, I can not say if the movie would be as enthralling without the certain anticipation of what comes next in the novel. Though who knows, perhaps the freshness of the whole thing would make it just as wonderful.
Dare I say it? The movie is even better than the book.
What did you think of the movie? Are you going to see it?