The Fault in Our Stars has a few faults of its own

A grand YA novel doesn’t soar onscreen

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Then again, The Fault in Our Stars is a teenage fantasy, albeit one rooted in the not-so-sunny world of cancer. And there are certain aspects of this half-dreamy, half-earthbound romance that Boone — who has made just one other feature, the 2012 dramatic comedy Stuck in Love — gets just right. As Hazel and Augustus gets to know one another, he asks her what her story is, and she prattles on with a list of treatments, diagnoses, and close calls. He stops her mid-sentence: “Not your cancer story, your real story.” Boone and his actors cut straight to the idea that cancer gives you an unwanted identity, becoming, if you let it, the only thing that defines you. All teenagers are looking for identity, but who wants that one? It’s the third wheel in Hazel and Augustus’s love story, unwanted and always hanging around. It’s also the thing that will make their story really, really sad. Sometimes a good cry is just what the doctor ordered.

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