News

REVIEW: Plenty of ‘Fault’ in these ‘Stars’

REVIEW: Plenty of ‘Fault’ in these ‘Stars’

Photo: YouTube

Genre: Drama, Romance | Run Time: 125 min | Rated: PG-13
Director: Josh Boone | Starring: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern

By George Wolf

With “Don Jon” last year, Joseph Gordon-Levitt wondered if maybe, idealized romance fantasies can be as harmful to actual relationships as pornography. “The Fault in Our Stars” is just the latest example to make his point.

Based on the best seller by John Green, it centers on an ordinary teenage girl (who of course narrates, to reinforce the feeling for the teenage girls watching that it’s their story, too). But she’s not really ordinary, she’s just waiting for that dreamy boy to come into her life and instantly see the special snowflake that she truly is, forsaking everything in his own life to make sure she feels special every special second of every special day. Green’s 2012 young adult novel has sold 10.7 million copies worldwide, providing a built-in fan base for the film.

Shailene Woodley stars as Hazel, a young cancer patient who dreads her support group, but goes just to make her parents happy.

Then, one day, Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort) comes to group, takes one look at Hazel and is instantly infatuated.

So, this time, the young lovers have to deal with cancer, adding an extra layer of manipulation opportunity to be explored.

Early on, Hazel expresses disdain for those unrealistic stories where “nothing is too messed up that can’t be fixed with a Peter Gabriel song.” Then, guess what? Some of those songs on the soundtrack are nothing more than bad Peter Gabriel rip-offs.

Woodley is a gifted actress, and does manage to bring some depth to Hazel, who admittedly is the most well-rounded character in the script.

Augustus is a one-dimensional mess, and Elgort (“Tommy” in the recent Carrie remake) can do little more than cast adoring glances and mug for the camera. But really, that’s what he’s there for, anyway.

Movies like this (and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, and “The Spectacular Now,” and…) want you to believe their characters are unconventional and their message is insightful, when the exact opposite is true.

“The Fault in Our Stars” is the same old bill of goods.

Verdict-2-0-Stars

Recent Headlines

in Sports

U.S. Open: Djokovic, Cilic through to the fourth round

Serbia's Novak Djokovic clenches his fist after scoring a point in the semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament against Britain's Andy Murray at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France, Friday, June 5, 2015.

Top-seeded Novak Djokovic is through to the fourth round of the U.S. Open with another straight-set victory. The nine-time major…

in Sports

This week’s top sports shots

AP_51535953719

A look at some of this week's biggest plays and best moments in sports.

in Sports

This weekend’s sports schedule

cardinals

Here's a look at some of this weekend's big sporting events.

in Sports

Bills cut Enemkpali, other notable NFL roster moves

Buffalo Bills linebacker IK Enemkpali defends during the second half of a preseason NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

The Bills have released Ikemefuna Enemkpali three weeks after acquiring the linebacker who broke the jaw of New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith, along with other moves across the NFL.

in Entertainment

Fall TV: What to watch

19-overlay

Fall is here and that means it's time to clear your DVRs and get ready for a new season of shows.

Bellingham Traffic