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    Movie Review: Is “The Fault in Our Stars” Worth Watching?

    Many of you PI Girls probably have heard about The Fault in Our Stars—not only the book by John Greene, but also the film, just released on June 6 by 20th Century Fox. The Fault in Our Stars is a touching and heartfelt love story. The book and film are appropriate for young adults and up, and the film is really growing in popularity ($48.2 million in box office sales, outdoing even Tom Cruise’s Edge of Tomorrow!).

    I recently saw the film, and I’m not going to lie…I had my tissues with me, and YES, it was what you think it will be: a tearjerker. It could be in the category of The Notebook and Titanic—films full of romance and drama—but above all, it’s a story about love. Remember, this is not a Christian film and it does have some content that I would not deem “appropriate” necessarily, but for the most part, the film is realistic and tells the story of young love.

    Synopsis and movie review

    The Fault in Our Stars is a down-to-earth movie and doesn’t have special effects or crazy costumes. It depicts the reality of the world of the main characters, with whom the audience connects and bonds deeply over the course of the film.

    The story is about a teenage girl, Hazel Grace (played by The Descendants actress Shailene Woodley), who is coping with a former illness—a tumor that was healed—but still struggles with health issues such as lung problems and unpredictable episodes where it’s hard to breathe. Hazel Grace is a normal “girl next door” who joins a community group of teenagers, all of whom are on the road to recovery with their different illnesses. She reluctantly attends this teen meeting on her mother’s advice, and after a couple of meetings, Hazel Grace meets charming Augustus Waters, aka “Gus” (played by Ansel Elgort), who breathes life into the lonely existence that Hazel Grace tends to feel. This encounter changes her world and lifts her spirits. As you go along for the ride, you feel the invigorating expedition Hazel Grace is taken on and you feel like you’re right there in the center of it all. Through ups and downs, the audience bonds with the characters, and the story has surprises that throw you for a loop.

    We also meet Isaac (played by Nat Wolff), a close friend of Gus and then Hazel Grace, and we become drawn into the different scenarios that occur throughout the film. Laura Dern plays Frannie (Hazel Grace’s mother) and Sam Trammell plays Michael (Hazel Grace’s father), and we meet the interesting character of Van Houten (played by Willem Dafoe), the acclaimed author Hazel Grace and Gus once admired.

    In my opinion, for a teen heartthrob type of film (which I definitely can fall for!), it was well directed and well produced, with convincing acting and an impressive soundtrack.

    Soundtrack

    Speaking of the soundtrack, I give it five stars, as there are many of my favorite types of artists in the indie/folk/pop music genres. If you like The Civil Wars, or the Lumineers, Ed Shereen and the like, then you’ll enjoy the soundtrack for this film! Some of the songs are by Birdy (her song “Not About Angels” is in the film). In addition, I love Tom Odell’s “Long Way Down,” Ray Lamontagne’s “Without Words” and other new amazing musical discoveries.

    Book or film?

    I haven’t yet read the book, although I now have an interest because of the film. In general, people say the book is always better than the movie version. What do you think?

    Source: www.imdb.com/title/tt2582846

    PI Girls, have you seen the film or read the book—or both? If so, which one is better in your opinion? Do you think they’re equal, or what are the differences? Comment below!

    Christi Given
    Christi Givenhttp://www.christigiven.com
    Christi Given is a former Trinity Broadcasting Network host for the JUCE TV NETWORK, and has been featured on the Hillsong Channel. Her passion is to reach the youth with the Gospel and her music. Given has been writing for Project Inspired since 2011, and hopes to encourage the younger generation in their faith.

    53 COMMENTS

    1. I found the book to be void of hope, which is expected really, and mocks christianity which is odd because the author professes to be a christian. Now, I myself have written from a atheist point of view before, but why mock his own faith? It was good overall but nothing really rave worthy.

      • I see what you mean. However, the author may have wanted to show a point of view with no hope, because in reality, there ARE people in the world with no hope. The point of literature is to express points of view and ideas, and often to open your eyes to something new–which in this case can be that we have to remember that not everyone has the hope that we do, so that needs to be motivation to share our hope and the root of it (Jesus).

    2. I have not seen the movie yet but I was not a big fan of the book. The cussing and predictability of the book was just too much for me to enjoy. I love the concept of the story though!

    3. I loved both the book and the movie. I find John Green’s writing to be both plain and elegant. I also have a very easy time associating with the characters in pretty much all of his novels. The movie captured the atmosphere of the book almost perfectly. I would say, definitely read the book!

    4. I’ve debated for a long time whether or not to watch the movie. All my friends have seen it, but i read some reviews which pointed out how very inappropriate and sinful several scenes are. I cannot speak as if i have seen the movie, but I will say I was surprised there was no emphasis on the poor areas of the movie in this review. I still don’t really know if i should watch it?

    5. The idea of hope throughout the story is quite refreshing, because let’s face it, everyone is a sucker for stories full of hope. However, I do not want to go see the movie. I read the book because everyone was telling me how great it was but it is obvious by the previews that it isn’t something that is, “pure, lovely, and of good virtue.” (Phil. 4:8) I know many of my friends are going to see it, but I don’t think this movie is for me. That is all:)

    6. Going against the common replies here, but I started reading the book last summer, and couldn’t get too much further from the first chapter. In my opinion it was filled with filth, and therefore, I will not be seeing the movie.

    7. I haven’t seen the movie, but I read the book to see what everyone was talking about. I personally did not enjoy it. There was too much cussing, and the atheistic tone of the book did not make it as meaningful as it could have been. They didn’t have any hope for eternity, and they didn’t really gain anything from their experiences.

    8. I was excited to see this review because I was expecting a discussion of the movie’s secular morals from a Christian perspective. Having read the book and seen the movie, I’m disappointed that this review offered not much more than any secular evaluation. Of course TFIOS is enjoyable; of course it’s a tear-jerker; of course it has a good soundtrack. That’s why it’s popular.

      I disliked both the book and the movie not because of poor writing or faulty acting but because of flawed morals. Christ is mocked, Christians are naïve, and the seemingly wise teenagers have sex before marriage and, even more troublingly, are skeptical of religion.

      I’m not saying Christians should not read The Fault in Our Stars or watch the movie. But please, let’s discuss it. Let’s not talk about how well it was made or how good the music is. Let’s talk about how the lack of Christ in these adolescents’ lives leads to their hopeless worldview. Let’s talk about how oblivion is not inevitable and love is not a shout into the void. Let’s talk about how death is not to be feared because Jesus has conquered it. Let’s talk about how Jesus is not a punchline.

      I wish this opportunity to discuss the troubling moral implications of a book/movie many teenage girls like me have read/seen had not been squandered.

      (Here are a Christian review of the movie & one of the soundtrack.)
      http://www.pluggedin.com/movies/intheaters/fault-in-our-stars.aspx
      http://www.pluggedin.com/music/albums/2014/various-soundtrack-fault-in-our-stars.aspx

      • I agree; the sexual and atheistic content made me wrinkle my nose with distaste. It was especially a letdown due to the fact that I had heard pretty much only good comments about it and then it turned out to be morally wrong.

        • I haven’t read it or watched it, but I saw the trailer the first time before seeing “Son of God” with a group of youth group friends. It started out seeming like a really legit love story, the guy was calling her beautiful despite all her tubes and all I could say was “AWWW,” and then the suggestive scene showed up in the trailer, and it was just kind of one of those moments when me and my friends were like, “NO, they totally ruined it, it was so cute and then they had to ruin it.” It was upsetting, because I would love to see a sweet, cute love story like that that doesn’t have a suggestive scene for once. Young teens need to know that sex before marriage does not equate to love.

      • I agree with unefille, if I had wanted jut any review I would have looked one up. I could have found any secular review to tell me the same thing. The review mentioned little from a Christian perspective. The moral I saw was, do anything just because you are dying.

      • I read The Fault In Our Stars on a plane ride on my way to vacation, and I fell in love with the book. The characters are intriguing and dynamic and very heartfelt. I initially had the same reaction at Hazel’s obvious disrespect for Christ, which saddened me, but as continued reading her perspective made more sense. She’s dying, she’s been dealt a horribly unfair hand in life and I think that as readers we tend to forget this! If you were dying, I’m sure you would have the same insecurities about your faith, and you might be angry with God. The seeming lack of morals stems from the same thing: they’re both misguided and hopeless and haven’t been raised in faith. Having both been near death, I think that their perspective on life is completely different than a regular person’s. I’m not condoning Hazel and Gus’s choices in The Fault In Our Stars, but I think it shouldn’t be judged too harshly or considered an “unchristian” book.

      • I really love your third paragraph to unefille, I haven’t actually read the book, but my sister is absolutely obsessed about the book and the movie, so I kind of get what you mean, about the different themes In the book that don’t support Christian truths.

    9. I personally loved this story and the movie. It is one movie that I feel did the book justice. I get that there wasn’t a whole lot of Christ or Christianity related things in it, but it was real. I don’t care if John Green is a Christian or not (I mean I do since salvation is the most important thing but not for the point I’m making) the characters or not Christians. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t expect them to act differently. You can’t expect a lost person or character to act like a Christian or have hope or whatnot. But despite their religious beliefs this book and movie and these characters connect to the viewer. Hazel and Gus are “real”. Even if you are a Christian you can’t say that you have never been hopeless or that you felt that love is a shout into the void or that oblivion is inevitable. Everyone feels this at some point. We all feel lonely and down in the dumps. It’s life. Not to sound negative but we really can’t avoid rough patches like these. We’re human too. But anyways I would recommend this book and or movie to anyone who asked because they are both phenomal.

    10. I have to admit, I ran along with the crowd. I read the book once I heard about there being a movie… I read it right after Divergent BTW… then I went to go see it the day after it came to theaters. I loved the book! I read it in less than two days and stayed up one night just reading and tearing up. I thought it was a great book and I was so excited for it to come out on June 6th. When I started seeing previews and things I fell out of the spell kind of. The actors didn’t at all match my idea of them and some things were a bit different, but once I watched the movie for real, I liked it okay. Not as much as the book of course.
      My dad and I went to see it, he hated it, and I had mixed opinions. It was too much sadness for me, I cried even though I knew what was going to happen, and also I just hate the bad words and the content. I’d rather watch something else than that honestly. I’m just excited for “The Maze Runner”, that is an EXCELLENT book! I encourage you all to read it! It will be a movie soon 🙂

    11. I actually had uneasy feelings about the movie and I couldn’t seem to put my finger on why. It was a really well produced movie and it really did touch my heart. Yet, I stumbled upon this article, that shined light on the disillusion created in the movie. I would love for you to check it out. Girls, don’t sell yourself short in this life. There is a God with much bigger plans then your mind could ever imagine, no matter the circumstance in your life. He uses everything for His Glory! I hope this helps!

      http://www.shepherdpress.com/the-fault-in-our-souls/

    12. I read the book and watched the movie. I really like them both, the movie is super faithful to the book. One of the BEST book-to-movie adaptation, it’s right up there with Catching Fire.

    13. I’ve read about the first 150 pages of the book and gave up (For those who have read, I gave up after Amsterdam). You can always kinda “dig” out some sort of Christian values in whatever work, as any sort of goodness and beauty in a work ultimately leads to the Creator of such things. However, in my opinion, in the book, bad out-weighed the good. The book had continuous horrible language, too “touchy” romance, and some pretty depressing atheistic thoughts at points. If you’re looking for a tear-jerker romance with cancer, try A Walk to Remember. The language isn’t clean (but much cleaner than AFioS), but the romance is much cleaner with more “Christian” values in my opinion. Maybe if I had given AFioS a chance, I would have found something redeeming, but I personally felt I was reading something that I wasn’t supposed to, like watching a movie scene you knew you weren’t supposed to.

    14. I read the book and it was honestly so amazing. I finished it in about 3 days, it was so good, it was the first book to make me cry. I haven’t seen the movie yet, I’m waiting for it to come out on DVD or something. No one wants to see it with me.. But seriously the book is so amazing! There’s so much more detail that adds to their love story, it’s just perfect.

    15. I read the book. It was SO GOOD!!!!!!!! It made me cry tho. 🙁 The ending is not what u expect at all!!!! I read about 90 pages in one day and I had a really hard time putting it down. I finished the overall book in about a week. I totally recommend this book!!!

    16. I loved both the book and the movie, but there was some big details in the book that weren’t in the movie so I was a bit upset. I recommend the book though the language in it can be a little worse than it is in the movie.

    17. I honestly can say, that I have decided not to watch or read The Fault in Our Stars. Yes, it is hard to stay firm in my decision. But I just feel that this is something that I shouldn’t expose myself to. There is the bad “f” word and a sexual scene in both the book and movie; Most of my friends have read and watch it and have wonder why I haven’t and I just tell them why. I have gotten looks and they go on about how amazing it is…. I just don’t see how the content in TFIOS doesn’t bother them! I would so rather please God and respect Him and myself as well instead of “stay in the know” of the world.

    18. I definitely recommend reading the book. There were a few details in the book that weren’t in the movie that I believe helped to explain the story a little better. John Green is an extremely talented writer. His writing and the way he describes things is unique and that’s what I love about his books. He perceives many normal life experiences in a way that really makes you think deeper into the true meaning of things. I loved the movie also. The casting for the film was perfect and it was everything I imagined it would be and more. I really hope they choose to make a few of John’s other books into films. I would definitely go see them.

    19. I read the book and saw the movie. I loved the story, however there was so much that I disagreed with from the perspective of a Christian girl. I saw the movie with a friend (I was watching it with another Christian girl) and I felt a little convicted at certain scenes (the language, the sex, the way they talked about creation and after-life etc.). I know it’s wrong what they were doing/saying in the movie but would it have been ok to see? I’m still unsure how I feel about it. PS, the book was WAYY better than the movie, and I was a bit disappointed with the movie, but not too bad. Anyways, what do you think? Would it have been ok to watch and read?

      • I believe your convictions were correct. If it is not uplifting and feeds our spirit it’s a waste of time. There is no reason as Christians that we should have to subject ourselves, to the ungodliness you spoke of. Point blank if you don’t feel right just don’t finish it, it doesn’t matter what other people say. We serve God and that’s who we answer to.God Bless.

        P.S If you ever wonder about any cool Christian movies, that would be good I know a few. One is “Camp Harlow” available on Netflix. About a teenager whose hurting inside, there’s a little romance and it’s decent and christian based.

    20. I thought it was a really good movie, but I saw the movie with my mom and it was just awkward to watch the sexual scene and sit there while they talked about virgins and such. I understand that a large part of non-Christian teen society revolves around that stuff, but honestly I don’t think that it was really necessary to have in the book/movie. As for the scene, it wasn’t too terrible, but I still wish they would’ve left it out.

    21. Usually, the books are better than the movies, but I am not sure about this one. I probably liked the book better, but I adore Shailene Woodley and thought she did phenomenal so I really enjoyed watching her. I didn’t like the book as much as everyone else. I personally thought that it was way too hyped about and didn’t have much of a plot line. It was just okay, I thought.

    22. I liked the book better the movie. There some parts in the books i wanted to see in the movies but it wasnt in there and it kinda upset me a bit. The movie is good i just prefer the book over the movie any day.

    23. Well the book and the film both have a particularly bad word in it. It says God and then the d word and my mom and sister walked out of the theater because of that reason. So I don’t think people should read the book or watch the movie because of that. I absolutely lovedddd the story but just because it says that is why I will never watch it again. It takes Gods name in vain and I don’t think that people should be supporting that kind of language and stuff. I love the actors and stuff but I just don’t support the film or the book.

    24. I have yet to see the movie, but I have read the book, and it may say some curse words, but I think it is because it is from the perspective of young adults who have cancer, for crying out loud. I think sometimes the best thing to do is just block out the bad words or bad parts, and instead of thinking so much about the bad parts, but thinking about the amazing parts of the book. You could feel the love in their relationship, and I think through that love you could imagine God being there for some parts. Other parts not so much.

    25. I read the book and watched the movie and I loved them but there definitely was some content that could have been skipped, but as far as modern-romances go, I LOVED it. Even though I cried through most of it. It just really didn’t…sugarcoat…? I guess? Life…it was so real like and realistic…but I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone under 15 probably???

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    We here at Project Inspired want to guide and inspire teen girls to be true to themselves and to God. We want to show young girls how to be people of value and confidence – how to be your own best selves – through leading a Christian life. Who are we? We're a team of girls, like you. We edit the site, we post to social media, we hang out in the chat rooms and forums. We talk with you, we listen to you, and we love you!

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