The Fault in Our Stars, movie review: Schmaltzy teen drama disappoints
Film turns into a lachrymose melodrama despite promising not to be one
Teen weepie The Fault In Our Stars is a disingenuous affair.
In the introductory voice-over, we are promised by its very engaging young heroine Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) this won't be the typical terminal illness melodrama that “sugar coats” the characters' afflictions and uses schmaltzy music to tweak the heartstrings.
It is not a promise the film keeps as it sinks slowly into gooey mawkishness.
The film, already a big success in the US, is adapted from John Green`s bestselling novel about a love affair between two young cancer victims. Hazel and Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort) meet in a support group and immediately strike up a rapport. Early on, it plays like a contemporary equivalent to one of John Hughes' bratpack films.
It is smartly written, with an engaging line in deadpan irony and fatalism. The young leads are refreshingly unsentimental about their condition and have a sense of rebelliousness and mischief, especially when their parents try to mollycoddle them.
It is only after a trip to Amsterdam and a meeting with Hazel's favourite author Peter van Houten (Willem Dafoe) that the sentimentality really becomes cloying.
A trip to Anne Frank's house marks a nadir as the film slowly turns into the kind of manipulative, lachrymose melodrama that Hazel herself professes to detest.
Josh Boone, 126 minutes, starring: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe
film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Rashida Jones speaks out against male-centric porn saying 'women should have sex and feel good about it'
Gorillaz Phase 4: Cartoon supergroup is back as new artwork is unveiled
Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
Game of Thrones really doesn't want Danny Dyer - EastEnders star rejected three times
Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Hard line on immigration could cost Tories the election