Monday, June 9, 2014

The Literal Cancer In Our Stars

I honestly don't have a lot of dislike for The Fault in Our Stars. But it was a cheesy movie that practically opened up with a blatant lie. A lie that continued to gnaw at me throughout the two hour and five minute runtime... which was really way too long for this movie anyway.
When the narrator first begins speaking, she goes out of her way to tell us this is going to be an honest account of the events. That would be cool and all... but the world of characters never developed into real people. While I can understand Hazel's (Shailene Woodley, who is great by the way) family acting overly nice toward their cancer-riddled daughter, they never really seemed to wake up from that heightened level of "we're the good guys and we're in this till the end"... not even when the script specifically called for it unfortunately. It's not that Laura Dern and Sam Trammell did a bad job, it just seemed as if their characters were setup to flatline from the outset of filming. They just didn't have enough to do given the circumstances. Oppositely, Gus (Ansel Elgort) simply did not perform. He became the perfect definition of wooden as if his character had been pulled directly out of the text and was never given a chance to actually breath in the real world... which, if you ask me, is quite simply an actor's entire job.
The over-sentimentality of The Fault in Our Stars, unfortunately, pulled me out at every turn. But I assume the reality of this, as has certainly happened in the past, is just that this film was not made for me. It's not intended for men and it's not intended for anyone over the age of twenty-five... well specifically not men I guess.
What is bad... and this is not the film's fault... is what the studios are going to pull from the success this film has seen over the last weekend. Simply put, this is a known property. It was a book. And it had a built in audience. The misfortune of its release time during a slow week in what may be a very slow summer is its competition... Edge of Tomorrow. An original property (something Hollywood desperately needs to take more chances on) that is supposed to far exceed expectations. I can't speak on that yet, I'll be seeing it later today. But if the studios do pull the message I think they will from this weekend (and I know it's an ongoing problem and this is not by any means the first time) we're just gonna keep getting more and more adaptations while originality just continues to get boxed farther and farther into the indie corner. This is nerve-racking because we need original material as a filmgoing community. And it's not The Fault in Our Stars' fault. But rather aptly, this new cancer movie is helping to perpetuate a cancer that has been harassing the film industry for some time now. And it may be making people dumber.

No comments:

Post a Comment