This weekend I took Steph and her likewise John Green–obsessed friend to see the film adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars, which we all loved. We were nervous for all the usual reasons—Will they ruin the book? Will the actors be nothing like what we imagined? Will they change the ending?—but our worries were unfounded. The movie was terrific.
Shailene Woodley is just right as Hazel. In some ways she looks and acts like every teen, but obviously in one very important way she is nothing like other teens, and Woodley manages to walk that line effectively. Gus is played by Ansel Elgort, who at first struck me as too pretty for the role, but he grew on me. I was pleasantly surprised by Laura Dern, who plays Hazel's mom—she was fantastic. One thing I had loved in the book was that Green managed to get both the teens and the parents right, and Dern really carried through on that. (I thought less of the dad, played by someone named Sam Trammell.) Oh, and Willem Dafoe is excellent as the awful Peter Van Houten.
The parts of the book that were left out didn't matter to me one whit, and in fact one subplot I hadn't really liked in the book (about Gus's former girlfriend) was excised.
Yes, it was a major sob-fest, but I was able to hold myself together in public much more easily than I did while reading the book in my own living room (not saying much, but still).