"The Fault in Our Stars" Movie Review
By; Sam Caldeira Slavic
“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” – Hazel Grace Lancaster, The Fault in Our Stars
As a young woman, I face the pressure of finding the love of my life. The world surrounds me with images of who to fall in love with: a muscular man, with intense eyes, maybe some floppy hair. He is strong and successful, domineering and pleasing to the eye. In this world, lust comes first, and it is supposed to morph into love. The Fault in Our Stars has captivated so many movie-goers for one simple reason: human beings are made for love, and desire it unconditionally.
Lust is not love. Lust is nothing close to love. Lust takes. Love gives. Lust is selfish. Love is selfless. Lust wants it now. Love waits. Our society continues to tell us that sexual desire can lead into this unconditional, sacrificial love that every person longs for in movies, television shows and commercials.
Hazel Grace Lancaster is a teenage girl, longing to find someone to give her love to, in her numbered days. She does not look for a boy to sweep her off her feet, as her cancer is terminal and her main focus is to stay alive for her parents. However, Augustus Waters enters into her life and everything changes. The movie is quick to show their budding romance. It’s innocent at first: girl likes boy, boy likes girl, girl is afraid of hurting boy, boy loves girl but girl doesn’t want to be with boy. The development of Hazel’s feelings as the movie progresses begs the question: Is this love, or is this infatuation?
Infatuation is emotional dependence. It’s such an intense need for another that you will do anything to be in the other’s presence. Love is independence and mental balance.
As a person who has read The Fault in Our Stars, the movie portrays an infatuated Hazel. Augustus Waters is the one person she can rely on, the one person she clings to, and after meeting him, the one she spends majority of her time with. Love is the ability to be independent, to be comfortable in your own skin, but to have someone walking beside you in every step of the way. The movie suggests that Hazel feeds off of Augustus to remain strong. In low moments of our lives, we can fall into the trap of relying on people instead of God.
What Hazel is missing is emotional chastity. Hazel, and all of us, need to be pure in our hearts and minds as well as our bodies. As the movie progressed, I was worried that the ending would have to be different than the book. Hazel’s body, mind and soul were wrapped up in Augustus Waters, and it looked almost impossible that she would be able to live without him. We can all agree that Hazel was happy having Augustus, and with the cloud of cancer over them, it is easy for us to put all of the values we cling to in our faith aside for a fated romance.
A radical thought: the merit of this movie is not found in the love story. The Fault in Our Stars is not about finding love in your numbered days. In order to really learn from this movie, you have to look past the romance (which is difficult because like any romance movie, it’s just adorable).
“Some people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them,” I said. “Right, of course. But you keep the promise anyway. That’s what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway.”
Augustus Waters pushes past infatuation and lust and tells the audience the truth about love. Love is not easy, and it requires a lot of sacrifice, but you press on, because God is helping you through the difficult moments. God allows us to have eternal life and he promises to forgive us, even when we fall into sin over and over again. That is love.
“That’s part of what I like about the book in some ways. It portrays death truthfully. You die in the middle of your life, in the middle of a sentence.”
One of my personal favourite parts of the movie is Hazel and Augustus’ review of the book Imperial Affliction. Many of us have a hard time thinking, talking or witnessing death, but Hazel and Augustus have no choice but to face it. Only God knows when our time here on Earth is complete. It is our job to live according to His will, and to please Him in everything we do, because it could be over at any moment, in the middle of any sentence. We cannot live believing that we have another day, because that allows us to put off the changes we need to make in our lives.
The Fault In Our Stars is a film that focuses on the romance between Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters. It is swift and heartbreaking. The Fault In Our Stars is a film you may have to watch twice, to really understand what you should take from the film, and what is missing in it. It’s a film that moves in the right direction when portraying love but hasn’t made it quite there yet to what true love really is as true love is total, free, faithful and fruitful. Remember that movies barely resemble reality. Do not get swept up in the plot and fantasize about it happening to you because God has a REAL, better, and beautiful plan for you.