I am always going back and forth between wanting to either make one huge post on all the teen flicks I have seen(which in the last five years has been a lot) or whether or not some deserve whole posts. This film is in between that decision. I have more experience in seeing films and secondary to that is my love for the younger generation. I am not even 30 yet(although I am getting there) and since working with teens in Kansas City for a total of 4 summers I have been very interested in what the secular( and spiritual) have to say about teenagers. John Hughes really began what was seen as mostly a rebellious youth that coaxed there misunderstood lives by hating their adults or by hating anyone who was older.
Hughes lived in that wasteland of teenagers versus adults. The gritty foul-mouthed Breakfast Club clearly shows the same sensation with five very hard-headed clichéd characters. Richard Vernon ( who is played by Paul Gleason) is the ultimate example of a teacher that is burnt out on the very kids that he is supposed to be loving and helping. A whole post needs to be dedicated to all of these messages going on in Hughes and what others tried to accomplish too.
Directed by: Josh Boone
Written By: Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber
Book by: John Green
Fault In Our Stars reunites Shailene and Ansel( who played brother and sister in Divergent) and each of them are at their best. I think Shailene has come a long way from playing the pregnant Amy in Secret Life of the American Teenager. Her edgy daughter of a dying mom performance in The Descendants and her low self-esteem in The Spectacular Now to the ever-Katniss Everdeen-like performance in Divergent. Shailene plays a cancer stricken girl named Hazel that probably should have died when she was in middle school but thanks to some excellent medical help is still alive. Her home life is not lacking in love and compassion. Hazel has hope and compassion and is just trying to be a normal teenager while having to deal with going to support groups and sharing an Oxygen tank around. In her going to support groups where the patients all meet in the literal heart of Jesus( its a rug that they sit on that is the heart of Jesus) she meets Gus. Gus has overcome illness with just a fake leg from the disease eating his real leg. Hazel and Gus fall in love like any other love story.
I think what makes this movie different and full of difference is not so much the complexities of the plot. Many other films have centered around a love story with some kind of illness hindering either just one person in the relationship or both people. The Notebook( which always gets bashed by girls for being “so unrealistic” and for Ryan Gosling playing a much to obsessive teenager that falls in love).
Yes, its not reality but someone losing their memory and then staying with them until the end of their life and dying in each others’ arms in the end..umm..that is very powerful and should be. The Vow was also a real-life true story of a women that lost her memory and never got it back, but the guy loves her no matter what and loves her in the midst of everyone in her family and even close friends of his pushing him away and giving him much resistance. My Sister’s Keeper is so intense on the illness factor of a little girl dying of cancer and the events that unfold in the family dynamic.
Deeper thoughts and powerful quotes:
The picture up above is my favorite quote from this film because there is no gain without pain and there is not the reward of love without the risk of getting hurt. John Cusack says it pretty good and probably with much ignorance in Say Anything when the ladies tell him( about the girl that he wants to love) ‘We don’t want you to get hurt!’ And he says, “No, I want to get hurt!” In so many poems of myself I have infused the idea of not wanting an easy life, but wanting a life that has difficulty because in the revelation that life will be hard and you will go through painful things then you can better understand that God works through those difficulties. The question also becomes, ‘is love enough?’ Is love enough even in the midst of someone you love facing possible death? This movie hits that point and hits it hard. Funny and sad all under the banner of being a young person and not being prepared for what can happen in this life. In the end Gus dies and the whole time you are expecting her to be the first one to go. Its sad but its real and pain has to be felt and to avoid it, well, that is the real addiction and that is the real disease.
Hazel says, “Depression is not a side effect of cancer, it is a side effect of dying!”
Gus says, “..my biggest fear is oblivion..is not living an extraordinary life..”
Hazel says, ” I want the answers for I don’t know how long I have before I get them!”
When Hazel flashes back to being in middle school, she hears her mom say, “”you can let go sweetheart, don’t be afraid!'”
Gus says, “That is the thing about pain, it demands to be felt!”
The man at the fancy restaurant says, “we have bottled all the stars for you young ones tonight!”
The line in the picture up above..”you don’t get to choose that you will hurt(paraphrased) and have pain..but you do get to choose who hurts you!”