A Loving Dissection of 'The Fault in Our Stars' Movie Trailer Shows How It Will Differ From the Book
The Fault In Our Stars trailer came out today. It was pretty cool. It seemed like people were happy with it, I guess. Oh, let's cut the crap. No more playing coy and uninterested here, that's far too overrated: I'm really excited about The Fault in Our Stars, you guys. I've written about it before. I promised I'd write about it again. And so here we are. And so even though we already posted a brief introducing you to the existence of the TFiOS trailer, it's time to dive in even deeper.
A lot of people, and ideas, and general things go into movie-making. For The Fault In Our Stars movie, that's author John Green's original vision, being married to director Josh Boone's (Stuck In Love) vision for the film itself, working with Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber's (The Spectacular Now, 500 Days Of Summer), working with cinematographer Ben Richardson, production design by Molly Hughes, editing by Robb Sullivan, and the work of dozens of other crew members, some of whom Green even highlighted on his blog.
The point is: Movie-making is always a complicated process, and that process is made even more complicated when one is adapting a book that may still be relatively recent but which is already definitely beloved. Luckily for everybody, all evidence points to everyone in this production genuinely loving that source material. So let's jump into what this trailer shows us about how the film's plunge into the world of our Hazel, okay? Okay.
(Warning: Book spoilers ahead.)
The trailer opens with Hazel (Shailene Woodley) voice-overing her wry-but-wise view of her situation.
"I believe we have a choice in this world about how to tell sad stories. On the one hand we could sugarcoat it — nothing is too messed up that it can't be fixed with a Peter Gabriel song. I like that version as much as the next girl does."
As she says this, we see our heroine, disability and all, in the throws of some happy parts of life: Being twirled by Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort) in Amsterdam...
Laughing at dinner with (probably?) her family...
Kissing Gus in the the Anne Frank House...
Some straight-up sexy canoodling...
"I like that version as much as the next girl does," she says, then continues, "it's just not the truth. This is the truth."
And then we see something that feels rare and wonderful: We see our leading lady with a disability.
And Laura Dern! We meet Laura Dern. "Make some friends" is her main advice, because as we know from the book Hazel's been lethargic for a while at the point where we meet her.
Even though we don't see it in the trailer, we know Gus also has a disability: He lost his leg to osteosarcoma. Didn't lose an ounce of his charm, though, as we see as he accidentally-on-purpose bumps into Hazel:
It appears through this trailer that one small change here is the exact moment when Hazel and Gus first make contact. In the books, he stares at her throughout the support group meeting and then approaches her immediately afterwards, egged on by her response to his thoughts on oblivion.
In the trailer, he bumps into as she's entering the church for the support group, though it appears that their exchange ("What's your name?" "Hazel." "No, your full name.") takes place where it does canonically.
We also get a good glimpse of the support group in the heart of Jesus:
As well as a small snippet of Gus's famous fear of oblivion.
And hey, it's Nat Wolff as Isaac!
This kind of shuffling doesn't bother me at all, personally — Catching Fire shuffled a hell of a lot around but it was still one of the best adaptations I've ever seen, and having them bump into each other before group is a tiny alteration — but it's just the kind of thing you notice when you're heavily invested in both the novel and the film. Overall, this film seems extraordinarily devoted to its source material.
And so the Hazel Grace/Augustus Waters ship was brought into the live-action realm:
"Why are you staring me?" "Because you're beautiful."
No glimpse of the cigarette yet, but oh god, the feels. The feels. I can feel them surfacing.
"So what's your story?" "I was diagnosed when I was 13 —" "No, your real story."
Augustus Waters, you guys.
It's at this point that the trailer takes us through many vital parts of the book, and through big chunks of Hazel and Gus's love story, and through big chunks of Hazel's story, more specifically.
We see Hazel's initial resistance to a romantic relationship with Gus from her "we're just friends" to Issac, to Gus's "You trying to keep your distance from me in no way lessens my affection for you," to her assertion that she's a grenade who will someday blow up and obliterate everything in her wake.
This also gets us our first shot of the two of them on that famous swing set ("Lonely, vaguely pedophilic swing set seeks the butts of children"):
And then we see bits of that dark side of this story: We see Hazel sick, the panic from her parents and the sadness from Gus as they rush her to the hospital and the realities of their situation sinks in.
And then we see Gus's love confession (here moved from their transatlantic plane ride to their romantic dinner in Amsterdam), complete with "and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and I am in love with you."
(Same, Hazel baby.)
And then we see Hazel giving in to the feelings she'd been trying to push down.
And we get a truly sweet glimpse of their love scene, the challenges of their disabilities acknowledged lovingly and with humor.
Including the challenges of having a cannula when there is a man trying to remove your shirt.
"We are a hot mess."
It's important to note, though, that they did leave out a certain author and a certain plot twist, and we all know what I'm talking about when I talk about both, but I'm certainly not going to mention details about the second one not because of spoilers but because if I do I will cry, and I already know I'm going to be shedding far too many tears over this movie as it is.
All I will say is that I am perfectly content waiting until I'm in the theater to see that gas station scene, but hot damn, it's gonna crush me.
Especially because I think I have a pretty good idea what Gus is telling Hazel in this shot, and I am not ready.
And then we hear Hazel say "you gave me a forever within the numbered days" and we see their faces and oh shit I am definitely not ready.
The trailer ends with them toasting to a good life. Meanwhile I am this:
June 6, people. Mark your calendars, reread the book, sew your tear ducts shut, do what you gotta do. It's coming our way.
(Don't actually sew your tear ducts shut, please.)
Images: 20th Century Fox, Tumblr