Beware that when you step into the theater to see this brilliant movie, everyone around you at some point will be sobbing hysterically and there is nothing you can do to comfort them. Though the movie The Fault In Our Stars was done beautifully, there were still parts in the book that were left out leaving fans wondering why it wasn’t considered for the movie; or if it was considered, why it didn’t make the cut.
If you have only seen The Fault In Our Stars movie, you are truly missing out on a deeper story that the book has to offer. Only so much can be portrayed by facial expressions on screen. The book provides all the internal dialogue that goes with each smile, giggle, or stare. With that being said, both the book and the movie will just ruin your life, leaving you with a new appreciation for the time you have on this earth.
Needless to say, it is a privilege to have your heart broken by Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters.
Be forewarned that SPOILERS are definitely ahead for both the book and the movie. These are the 4 ways the movie beautifully portrayed the story in the book, and 4 things that left you upset and curious as to why they were left out.
Let’s start by looking at 4 things that enhanced the story:
4. Isaac’s Trophy Scene
First of all, Isaac was portrayed perfectly in this movie. Whoever was in charge of casting deserves a pat on the back. Isaac added just the right amount of comic relief to this sad story and the movie made his character even more believable as a person.
Going into the scene where Isaac has his heart torn from his chest by Monica, you didn’t know how depressing it was actually going to be or if they were going to try and make it a bit lighthearted. Lucky for fans they really took this scene and made it flawless.
Gus gives Isaac some trophies to smash up that help him vent some of his anger/sadness and you can’t help but laugh out loud through this entire scene. While Gus and Hazel are trying to have a cute flirty conversation about the book “An Imperial Afflcition,” all you hear are the trophies being destroyed in the background. Isaac finds comfort with his destruction and becomes more and more satisfied with each trophy victim.
Instead of feeling bad for Isaac by the end of his escapade, you actually were happy that he had friends like Hazel and Gus to be there for him.
3. Amsterdam Trip
From the time the plane took flight to the heart wrenching bench scene at the end of their trip, you were captivated by Hazel and Augustus’s love story. The movie included all the right moments of the Amsterdam trip and actually seeing the emotions on their face made going to see this movie 100% worth it.
At Oranjee, hearing Augustus say the words “I love you Hazel Grace” just gives you gooesbumps. When they are sitting at the table finishing dessert and he starts talking about oblivion, and the inevitable, and loving her, your heart just melts; but when you see Hazel tearing up, you are just done for.
The Anne Frank Museum was filmed above and beyond expectations. The movie really showed Hazel’s drive and determination with each step that she climbed. In the movie, this struggle to get up the stairs looked ten times harder on her lungs, than it seemed in the book. Even though you could really see Hazel’s restrictions and how much her lungs hold her back from certain things, the movie never portrayed her as being weak; which made the whole scene very inspiring and it clearly defined Hazel’s personality.
Granted there was no spring snow, they didn’t eat outside at Oranjee, and the fight with Peter Van Houton wasn’t as dramatic like in the book. But you seem to forget about all that when you see Augustus’s giddy smile when he wakes after losing his virginity.
2. Van Houton Personally Delivered the Letter
In the book, Van Houton goes to Gus’s funeral, makes snarky remarks, mildly stalks Hazel, and finally goes back to Amsterdam to drown in his sorrows. Later Hazel finds out that Gus sent a letter to Van Houton leading his assistant to scan the letter and email it back to her. It turns out Gus asked Van Houton for help to write Hazel’s eulogy, and it is the sweetest most heart felt letter you have ever seen.
Now in the movie, Van Houton does show up to the funeral to make snarky remarks and mildly stalk Hazel, but it’s so that he can personally give her the letter that Gus wrote him. This is such a small change in the story but it truly makes more sense. In the book, Van Houton just goes to the funeral almost seeking pity and forgiveness from Hazel, but in the movie Van Houton’s presence at the funeral really seems to be for Gus and to give Hazel something many people want but never get; closure.
1. Last Word of the Movie: “Okay.”
This may seem silly, but ending the movie with “okay” just felt like the obvious way to conclude this love story. Isaac said “always” to Monica constantly and after seeing how that turned out, Hazel and Gus both knew that “always” wasn’t for them especially since they knew death was coming sooner rather than later. “Okay” was as close as they were going to get to “always” which was enough for them.
The book ends with Hazel saying “I do,” after reading Augustus’s eulogy that he brilliantly conspired for her. But at the end of the movie, Hazel is laying out in the yard reading the eulogy and it ends with Augustus saying “Okay Hazel Grace?” All you need to hear is her respond with “Okay,” and you can walk out of that movie with a smile on your face.
Now let’s take a look at 4 things that were huge disappointments:
4. Hazel’s friend Kaitlyn
In the book Hazel has a friend Kaitlyn that she hangs out and chats with occasionally. Kaitlyn as a character doesn’t really add much to the story. She is your regular 16-year-old teenage girl who acts slightly older than her age, but she is nothing special.
The reason why it was disappointing to not have her in the movie was because she proved that Hazel could have friends. She could hang out with girls like Kaitlyn and chat about boys, but she chooses not to. Hazel would rather just stay at home, read, watch America’s Next Top Model, and sleep.
Even though Hazel feels like Kaitlyn doesn’t treat her differently, Hazel is just too checked out of normal teenage life. As Hazel puts it, there is an “unbridgeable distance” between her and her old friends that she had prior to having cancer. Knowing this said a lot about Hazel’s character.
3. Augustus’s Previous Girlfriend
In the book Gus had a previous girlfriend named Caroline Mathers. She died about a year before Gus met Hazel. Gus explains that they met in the hospital when they both were sick. She had a brain tumor that made her personality very cruel and he only stayed with her because he didn’t want to be that jerk that broke up with someone who was about to die. In the movie there is not one word mentioned or even a hint that Caroline ever existed.
The reason why Caroline is important is because 1) Caroline and Hazel looked A LOT a like. The whole first scene when Gus and Hazel first meet, he was starring at Hazel because he couldn’t believe the resemblance between them. He was staring out of curiosity and not just because she was beautiful. 2) On Caroline’s “condolences” wall, the online posting board where people could write their goodbye’s to Caroline, there was a line that really stuck with Hazel; “It feels like we were all wounded in your battle.”
This line is where Hazel comes up with the “Grenade” idea that she will hurt anyone close to her after she dies, and this is the reason she starts to distance herself from Gus. She needs to minimize the casualties.
2. There was No “Fault In Our Stars” Quote
It is baffling that nowhere in the movie do they mention, “The fault in our stars.” It is the title of this whole story for f*cks sake. Since the title actually has meaning to the story, there should have been more of an effort to slide it into the movie somewhere.
Basically Augustus wrote another letter to Van Houton explaining that Hazel was keeping her distance because she is sick and doesn’t want to hurt him. So in Van Houton’s response letter, he goes off on one of his eloquent word-vomit episodes where he quotes Shakespeare:
“Were she better or you sicker, then the stars would not be so terribly crossed, but it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he had Cassius note, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars/but in ourselves.” But there is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars.”
It is an absolutely perfect quote for this beautifully tragic love story, but once again it was no where to be found in the movie. Terrible.
1. Augustus’s Death
If you completely ignored the warning that spoilers were among this article, you are in for a rude awakening. Yes, Augustus Waters dies, oblivion is inevitable, and life just isn’t fair for TFIOS fans. The movie sugarcoated his death in a way. It was sad, quick, and unjustified; the end. In the book, Gus’s death was a much more harsh reality and it was just excruciatingly painful to read.
Once they got back from Amsterdam, Hazel would go over to spend time with Gus every day. The more medications that Gus was on, the more deranged he became. It got to a point where once she found Gus in his room having peed himself, while being completely delirious. The more meds he took to take away the pain, the more his quality of life faded. Every time he called in the middle of the night, a fear would rush over Hazel and she would pray that it was him and not his Mom calling to say tonight was the night he died. When he called to have her pick him up from the gas station, she found him covered in vomit, crying and humiliated.
After Gus died there was a service in the church with an open coffin. Hazel was able to see him one last time. She was happy to see Gus was still Gus. She was able to tell him she loves him, give him a kiss on the cheek, and place his cigarettes in the coffin with him. After the service she didn’t even want to go to the funeral because she didn’t want people to see her cry and she didn’t want her parents to see what they will eventually be going through. But, she went anyway to support her parents and Gus’s parents.
Honorable Mention – Utter Disappointment: Hazel and her Family
Yes the book is about Hazel and Gus’s love story but it was also equally about Hazel’s journey with cancer and her fears of leaving her family behind which the movie glossed over a little bit.
In the book, between Hazel’s Dad always crying from fear of losing her, her mom’s full time job of hovering over her, and Hazel “trying” to have a life outside of cancer, it really takes a toll on everyone. Hazel thinks about her parents all the time and wonders how she can leave them without ruining their lives financially and emotionally.
Both medias were marvelous in there own way and I thoroughly enjoyed both of them. I would love to hear others opinions of what they loved seeing up on screen or what the book might have portrayed better.
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