Bustle was granted the extreme privilege Monday night of attending an advance screening of The Fault in Our Stars, hosted by BuzzFeed, with a brief Q&A — attended by writer John Green, director Josh Boone, producer Wyck Godfrey, and stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort — to follow. What can we tell you? Not much, really! Review embargoes mean we've got to keep mum until just around June 6th, when the adaption is released to the public.
But this much we can, and must say: FiOS will break down your every emotional defense and leave you a sobbing mess in a very public setting. It will happen. It's unavoidable. But hey — unlike us, you've got a month to pull yourselves together and prepare for what will be the most tear-heavy part of your summer (unless something actually bad happens to you)!
It's with that in mind that I thought it wise, with time to spare, to explain the types of crying you're likely to experience at FiOS. Maybe you won't check off all five of these at your screening — there's a chance you'll only get to four — but best to be prepared, right? Here we go:
The cry: Single-stream tear, easily managed and concealed
Think: Your great-grandmother just died
You didn't know Adelaide that well and, to be honest, didn't thrill at the cards that would arrive every holiday with a crisp dollar bill inside and the stipulation that you "spend it wisely." But she was family, technically, and an afternoon off from school is always a good thing. The funeral is attended by extended members of your family who, though you've never met them before, marvel at how much you've grown. One of them gives you a Werther's Original, embracing the stereotype completely. When the priest nears the end of his lamentation, you notice one solitary tear pooling at the corner of your eye and falling down your face. You do feel something. You're not a sociopath.
The cry: Forget your face, it's a full-body spasm you're dealing with
Think: Your dog Juniper was just hit and killed by a car
WHY, JUNIPER, DID YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO BE SO FUCKING CURIOUS?!? The car came out of nowhere, and now a world that was fine and normal a second ago feels assuredly the opposite of those things, probably forever. You run out to the street to see him. He looks peaceful, but then he was never peaceful. Peaceful feels totally out of place. You forget where you are.
Later you're in the vet waiting room, holding your parents' hands. It seems strange that you'd go to a funeral for your great-grandma Adelaide, who you barely knew, and the only celebration of Juniper you'll have is a routine cremation at an animal hospital that smells horrendous. Life's weird that way. Dr. Kathy emerges from the back holding a small velvet box that seems classy enough, but whose classiness is undercut by the sticky label affixed to the side. "NAME: FOG, JUNIPER" it says, kind of aggressively. And that's when you really break down. The pain courses through you, felt at every extremity. It's not just your face that's crying; it's your whole body.
The cry: Why am I laughing?!?
Think: You just read on Facebook that your 2nd grade TA died in, like, a freak parkour accident
What's wrong with you?!? A person has just died, a person you knew, and you're laughing about it? Granted this isn't full-blown, Dumb & Dumber toilet scene laughing but still -- this response, whether you have control of it or not, feels totally inappropriate. Sadistic even. Remember when we confirmed that you weren't a sociopath fifteen years ago, at GG Adelaide's funeral? Well, you may just be a psychopath.
A text comes in from your best friend of 1994, Whitney Welker: "holy shit did you see about Miss Lorens?" It's accompanied by a lot of emojis that may convey deep sadness OR absurd laughter. You can't tell. Then: "I feel like nutjob for laughing so much but THIS IS RIDICULOUS. PS remember when she went on that weird rant about juice boxes?! LOL. Let's get together at T-gives." So Whitney's a psychopath, too. Or maybe life is just absurd, and sometimes comical at its most tragic, and the best you can do is just feel whatever you're feeing when you're feeling it.
The cry: You can barely move your face it's so completely in cry-mode, and has been for over 30 minutes
Think: 'LOST' is over and, while you have conflicted feelings about it, you're mostly upset you'll never get it back
Honestly, you're more upset with yourself for crying than you are at the object of your tears. Even now, in the immediate experience that is watching the LOST series finale live, you know that you didn't really like the ending. It was too pat, too spirituality-focused for a series that was never as interested in that stuff as its creators would later claim it to be. You watched because of four-toed statues and polar bears and Smoke Monsters, not out of some persistent concern for Jack Shepherd's mortal soul. But whatever. Right now, 100+ episodes into a series that has dominated your Gchats for the past six years, all you can think is I've never felt this sad before, not even after Jellybean's death. (Shit, was it Jellybean that got you really upset? Or was it the one you had before, Juniper? Every dog eventually breaks your heart.)
At 24, LOST is arguably the longest relationship you've ever had with someone (or something) that's not you. It was complicated, and never meant to last, but dammit if you didn't have some fun while it lasted. Maybe you even loved it? There's just a LOT tethered to this experience, one that as of 11:01pm is now gone to you forever. Oh god, you're going to cry all night.
The cry: steady but controlled stream of happy tears
(Note: SPOILERS, obviously, for the video below. But if you haven't seen the end of The Shawshank Redemption and you're reading an article about crying, I don't know what warning or apologies I should even be offering here.)
Bad stuff is gonna happen in your life. You lose a job. A friendship. A love. Things don't break the way you'd expected them to, certainly not the way you'd like them to. But then pain is just a natural byproduct of living; you can't feel it if you haven't been out there, mixing it up. As Gus (well -- John Green) says so beautifully in FiOS, "pain demands to be felt." So you take it in...and then release, armed with the knowledge that whether tomorrow is better or worse pales next to your decision to really live it.
...and if you need more motivation than that, nothing says "life is short" more than kids struggling with terminal illness. I dare you to leave this movie not smiling ear to ear, ready to embrace life.
Image: 20th Century Fox