At a point, when watching “The Fault In Our Stars”, you forget you are watching actors and just know that Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgott are Hazel Grace and Augustus (Gus) Waters, teenagers who are falling in love, Hazel Grace reluctantly and Augustus all gung ho. That both have cancer, hers in the metastatic stage and his in remission, is handled lightly though it is a major theme as to what happens. Watching Gus and Hazel Grace fall in love just brings smiles to your face as she fights it and knows it is inevitable.
As her parents Laura Dern and Sam Trammell are supportive, caring and, knowing they have a strong daughter, don’t baby her. Gus’s best friend Isaac, played by Nat Wolff, who also has cancer, brings black humor that relieves a few heavy moments.
About midway in the movie the production moves to Amsterdam and it will certainly bring many more tourists as they want to follow where Gus and Hazel Grace have a romantic dinner or cruise along the canals the lovers travel plus visit the Anne Frank house and memorial, not to mention the hotel---oh, oh that would be a spoiler!!!
The only part of the film where the director, Josh Boone, and screenplay writers, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber based on the book by John Green, go astray is when it comes to the story line, acted by William DaFoe as an author and Lotte Verbeek as his assistant, which also adds a false note to the ending.
I had expected a tear jerker---come on--teens with cancer--from beginning to end but Woodley and Elgort don’t let you dwell on that with Elgort’s exuberance for life and Woodley as natural an actress that puts her up there with Jennifer Lawrence.
There was a twist near the end that surprised me but we get to meet another couple of real parents in David Whalen and Milica Govich.
“The Fault In Our Stars” is a beautiful love story that will bring tears to your eyes but not the depression you would expect in a story about teens with cancer.