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The Fault in Our Stars

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As a 35 year-old male, I am not the assumed audience for The Fault in Our Stars, much as I am not the assumed audience for P.S. I Love You, 10 Things I Hate About You, Definitely, Maybe, Crazy, Stupid, Love, or indeed Titanic (which I rate as one of my favourite top ten films). Despite belonging to a different demographic, according to some at least, I loved all of these films, including Josh Boone’s adaptation of John Green’s tear-jerker. This tale of two cancer-ridden teenagers makes no secret of its goal to draw water from its viewers’ eyes, and does so through slow, careful development of its characters, their relationship and their predicament. I have said before that character engagement is not a major concern for me, but when the focus of the drama is the characters themselves (which is not always the case), it certainly helps if they are engaging. Shailene Woodley as Hazel and Ansel Elgort as Augustus are a sweet and plausible pair of protagonists to spend two hours with, and their relationship is all the more charming for the looming spectre that never goes away. While the plot developments are not surprising, when they occur they are effective, thanks to the time and care the film has spent crafting the relationship to make it plausible and emotionally felt. As I have noted before, a year ago crying was not nothing something I did at films, but since Captain Phillips, I have shed tears at 12 Years A Slave and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and now The Fault in Our Stars. I have no shame in this, indeed I applaud the film for affecting me so much.

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