Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Nice is...Nice (THE FAULT IN OUR STARS)


I finally watched THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.

Yes, I'm a little behind on this, just as I was behind on reading a certain book that I shall not name except to say that it was a big seller and it infuriated me beyond reason. But I was so far behind on my reading that anything I wanted to tweet or say to anyone was irrelevant. It ticks me off that I'm dragging so far behind the Cool Train because, once I've consumed that once-popular movie or book, my passion to discuss them are passe.

Kind of like now.

(Just a sidenote: I've been watching the Cool Train go by for a few years now with this blog, pretty much ignoring its existence. I used to do a lot of movie reviews here and I used to blog extensively about Comic-Con, San Diego. In fact, I was going full steam ahead on the Nerd Express until... I don't know. I lost the enthusiasm, and I felt like *everyone* was blogging about the same things, so I stopped.)

But can I risk being passe? Because I'd just like to say a few words about THE FAULT IN OUR STARS...

Truthfully, I thought this movie was going to depress me. I mean, it's about people with cancer, and it can't possibly end well unless there's a total cop out. I hadn't read the book, either, even though I knew it was a bestseller. (Even *more* truthfully, a close family member was also terminally sick, and I just didn't want to face more sickness.)

But in spite of the cheesy post-"Afterschool Special" soundtrack and the movie's subject, I was completely and utterly charmed. Was I expecting jaded and kind of unlikable characters who glibbed their way through the dialogue? Yes. Was I expecting nihilistic behavior for the sake of driving home the message that DEATH DOESN'T SCARE ME? Oh, yeah (and part of that was there with Augustus's cigarette habit but, again--utterly charming, so it was all good).

What I got was a story about two very appealing people who love their parents, respect and take care of friends, and do all the things that are supposed to be so boring in a movie, like go on picnics and talk about art and send cute texts. Somehow not boring! What also surprised me was that the hero and heroine were never mean to each other just because the plot needed some conflict. They didn't have stupid fights for the sake of "pumping up" the tension. Death is the bad guy here, and it quietly stalks them during the entire film like a shadow in the background of an otherwise perfectly bright movie. It's refreshing to see such a simple concept done so touchingly well. Even when I could see the ending line of dialogue coming from a mile away, it still resonated.

So here's to simple and nice. Sometimes it really works.


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