The Fault In Our Stars: Hero or Zero in the Overcrowded Young Adult Scene?

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Let’s face it, young adult or “teen” books don’t have the greatest reputation when it comes to their big screen adaptations. Aside from the Harry Potter‘s and Hunger Games‘ of the world, we see a lack of well-received feature films. The sci-fi and fantasy genres are the ones that are producing more than anyone else. This is true when you see that books like The Mortal Instruments, Beautiful Creatures, Ender’s Game and Divergent have premiered film adaptations in the past year and some more are set to make their debut this year. However, there is a noticeable trend in the YA adaptations from the drama genre, and that is that they tend to be well-received by critics. Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Spectacular Now, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and others are an example of great adaptations. Not only are they cast with familiar and popular faces, but the lack of reliance in special effects and massive budgets make them connect with people’s experiences and emotions in better ways than magic wands would.

This summer wouldn’t be complete without several premieres of YA films. However, the one that needs to be addressed is The Fault in our Stars. Written by John Green, this bestseller debuted back in 2012 and it didn’t take long for Fox 2000 to acquire the rights to turn it into a film. The book follows a couple of teenagers who meet at a cancer patients’ support group and well, you can imagine the rest. The girl meets boy plot rarely has space for variation, but the cancer factor and the fact that they interact because of their book tastes makes it interesting enough. This novel is quite impressive and unforgettable, showing that when you appeal to the human heart, you’re more than likely to gain respect and admiration from your audience.

This will be the first John Green book to make it into the big screen, which is surprising considering the strength of stories like Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns, but this will definitely be a good first choice. Starring Shailene Woodley and newcomer Ansel Elgort, there’s no doubt teens will love the movie no matter what. Regardless of this, the film definitely has potential to become a critics’ favorite. If the sweetness and innocence of the book is correctly portrayed by the cast, it will be able to conquer everyone. When YA books become films, the usual mistakes that make them fail are a poor dialog, too many story lines, poor casting and even the curse of sticking too much with the book or moving too far from it. While this is impossible to predict until we see the movie, it feels like a winner. On top of that, Bright Eyes and Ed Sheeran are scoring the film and the soundtrack artists are a good mix of familiar faces and up-and-coming talents.

The film premieres on June 6th.

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