Wednesday, June 18, 2014

5 Things to Know Before Watching The Fault In Our Stars


Four months ago my husband bought me The Fault In Our Stars for Valentine's Day.  In his defense he didn't realize that he was giving me a book about kids with cancer, but bought it because I was excited for the movie trailer that had just been released.  I held off on reading it.  I didn't want to finish this book that everyone had raved about and then have to wait months to see it come to life in the theater.  So I waited.  But I'm a procrastinator at heart, as well as a fast reader, and before I knew it the day I could see the movie was upon me and I still hadn't cracked the spine.  And thus #TFIOS day was born.  In a span of eight hours I read the book, fixed dinner, put the kids to bed, and saw the movie*.  And when I got home at midnight I was thoroughly emotionally depleted.


So here are my FIVE SEVEN tips for seeing The Fault In Our Stars:

  1. Wear waterproof mascara.  You're going to cry.  It's a movie about love and kids and cancer.  There's no escaping the emotion.
  2. Bring tissues.  I forgot to bring tissues and ended up using the sleeve of my sweatshirt as I hunkered into my tiny theater chair in what resembled the fetal position and wept.  If you to go this movie without tissues and wearing a short sleeve shirt, you're screwed.
  3. Attend a late showing.  Consider the run time of your movie and figure out the approximate time you'll be leaving the theater.  Is this a high traffic time?  Are blockbusters starting and will the lobby be full of people?  Because you're going to be, like, 10 minutes post-ugly cry.  I when to the 9:45pm showing and the lobby was thankfully a ghost town when I left the theater.  I was able to power walk to my car under the guise of darkness with few witnesses.
  4. This is not the best first date movie (have I mentioned the ugly cry enough for this to be self explanatory?), but this is a good movie to help weed out the heartless bastards.  They don't have to cry to be considered a keeper, but if they laugh at you for it, they suck.  Kids. With. Cancer.  Consider this movie a litmus test for his emotional maturity.
  5. Read the book first.  I've gone back and forth on this ruling for a week, but I think the movie was better after reading the book.  The movie was solid - the acting, the emotion, the storytelling - it was all nearly perfect, but because I read the book and I knew the inner dialogue of the character I felt like I could read between the lines of the scene and picked up on all the nuances of the emotions portrayed.  The movie stays fairly close to the book, but some things are cut for time and reading them helps you to understand the characters a bit more.  The movie easily stands on it's own two feet, but if you have time read the book first.
  6. And a bonus tip (because the first 4 were about crying I feel like I owe you a bit more substance):  Appreciate the fabulous casting.  Laura Dern as the mom is so believable and brings depth to what could easily be a background character in the movie adaptation, and Ansel Elgort as the male lead Gus is so adorable and self assured that you root for him, but Shailene Woodley steals the show.  She's perfect in this role.  She's lovely and vulnerable and wonderful, and this role is sure to catapult her to leading lady status more so than the Divergent series which she also stars.
  7. Bonus Bonus Trivia:  Speaking of Divergent, Elgort and Woodley play siblings in the Veronica Roth series and love interests in TFIOS.   
*Tuesday nights are my 'Mommy Moment' movie nights.  Chris stays home with the kids and I sneak out after bedtime to see a movie on $5 Tuesday.  Everyone wins.  Except Chris I suppose, but he has an early shift the next day and couldn't come regardless.  Just wanted to clarify in case you thought I left the kids home unattended.  

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