A friend of mine (and then several friends, random people, readers, goodreads, etc) introduced me to The Fault in Our Stars (TFIOS) so I had to read it and like a lot of people, I fell in love with the book, not slowly at first but gradually from beginning till end. I read it in one go, I was awake at night till I finished the book and yes I shed a tear or two. It was an emotional book. I was a bit late into the club so everybody pretty much had read it by then and we were obsessing over it and it was already in the movie production.
So when the trailers started coming out, I religiously checked on them, got the soundtrack, watched way too many fan videos, etc and basically just had really great vibes about everything. As a reader, you have the whole book in your head the way you want to be which is why I agree when John Green writes that books belong to readers. TFIOS was mine, I knew it. I knew the story in my head and I knew the lines enough to know when to laugh and when not to. Also as a reader you are never fully satisfied once a book becomes a movie. I have been having so high expectations only to have the movie be an experience of something that I don't even relate to in the book. But then again, as a movie watched I realize that all the inane details in the book cannot be summed up in a 2 1/2 hour screen time, it just can't and even if it did, it would still not be the same. The book reading is a different experience than watching the movie. It takes up so much of you, not just time but so much of your emotional space. Movies also do that, but in a rather different way so I'll stop comparing these two.
Let's just say the movie was okay and I'm not saying this in a hyped up way that TFIOS fans overuse the word "okay". It was actually okay. Good okay. I liked how the story was brought together, it was sensible, it was emotional but it was also cheeky and lovable, just like how the story I had in my mind. This is not a cancer story it's a story about people who happen to be cancer patients and I like that the movie stuck to that. It was heartwarming. Maybe the trailer just put together all the best quotes and that's why the movie experience didn't add up to my utility. Maybe the people who were at the cinema with me was insensitive to moments when they should be silent or maybe I as a reader think that the moment should be a different way.
I really liked the Amsterdam parts, it was sad, happy and yet brought in a way that you know they are Hazel and Gus and it was just beautiful and it made you hate Van Houten as a person and made you love understand Hazel so much more. As a fan of the book, I am so happy it got made into a movie because so many people who wouldn't read the book/are unable to/don't want to read the book now has the chance to experience the same story that I fell in love with and that is brilliant. Instead of making people apart, books and movies should bring people together and I think TFIOS did that in its own way.
I am not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasures of saying true things so I will say this; this story is phenomenal and there will always be people who think it's pretentious (to be honest, it is a little bit) but it is beautiful and it shows the story of people with cancer in a very normal light an shows life through a very different pair of glasses. Whether you loved the movie or the book or both, I'm glad you did and if you hated it, again I'm glad you did because at the end of the day it's just a story and so are we.