Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley - Divergent) was diagnosed with cancer of the Thyroid when she was barely a teenager and unfortunately it went on to affect her lungs leaving her knowing that sooner rather than later she is going to die. But despite her parent's wanting her to take part in various things designed for people with cancer she doesn't want to be another cancer cliche. That is until she meets Augustus (Ansel Elgort - Carrie) who lost part of his leg to cancer and whose best friend Isaac (Nat Wolff) knows that soon they will have to remove his eyes because of cancer. It is a shared determination which leads to Hazel and Gus becoming close and ending up having a wonderful few months together as they go to Amsterdam and fall in love.
A friend once said to me that it must be great watching and reviewing movies for a living especially when it is your passion. And to be honest it is but it also skewers your frame of reference as you end up watching a lot more movies than your average movie goer would watch. I mention this because despite feeling like it should "The Fault in Our Stars" didn't have the impact on me like it has so many others and I put that down to having watched many doomed by illness romances over the years, I think my first may have been the Julia Roberts movie "Dying Young" from back in 1991.
But whilst "The Fault in Our Stars" didn't blow me away or leave me weeping in to a pile of soggy tissues as I expect it might have done with some it is a well made movie with two wonderful characters. Both Hazel and Gus have this wonderful spirit, this determination which manifests itself in different ways with Gus being out going with a need to be liked whilst Hazel doesn't want to fit the stereotype when it comes to dying from cancer. As such both Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort not only bring these characters to life but you also buy into their blossoming romance with Hazel not wanting to hurt Gus knowing that one day her cancer will kill her.
But that leads me to where for me "The Fault in Our Stars" does and doesn't work as some of the story is cute, some of it is a nice deviation from the norm and some just feels like it is forcing a feeling. I won't go in to detail but when a scene tries to deliver some sort of big moment either a memorable line or bit of drama often it ends up feeling too crafted. And then there is the plot which sees Hazel and Gus track down the author of a book they both love which seems again to have been tossed in to the mix partly for dramatic effect when it comes down the author's cantankerous nature.
What this all boils down to is that "The Fault in Our Stars" is undeniably a good movie with a touching storyline and pleasant performances. But for me, having watched many movies which deal with doomed by illness romances, it just didn't blow me away like it has others.