I still hadn't read the book, and I had never seen the leading actors in anything before either so I went into the cinema completely open minded, and I was really impressed. The story dealt with such a sensitive and upsetting issue without getting over dramatic, and I was pleasantly surprised to find many moments of comic relief to lighten the mood. I was kept gripped from beginning to end, and although in my mind I thought I knew how it would end, I was wrong. I think I benefitted greatly from not having read the book yet. I however read the book before hand (in 3 hours on a flight) and I was completely engrossed, I couldn't have put it down even if I wanted to. (Lucky this was the flight I mentioned in our NSFP post and I had a small child sat next to me so I was limited on film choices anyway!). Having read the book I was so excited about the film and I have to say as adaptations go they have done a really good job. Much of it played out exactly as I imagined in my head which is rare from book to screen.
Hazel Grace and Gus were inspiring characters to watch, and although I was a little cold towards Gus at first, I very quickly warmed to him due to his confidence and charm. Another highlight for me was the little effects when text messages were sent, it was a creative addition and I thought it really tied in well with the teenage theme. Some of the lines were a little cheesy of course, but my understanding is that they're direct quotes from the book. Yes there were lots of direct quotes from the book which I noticed and I thought they (although a little cheesy) a great way to ensure the film was true to the book.
These are my kind of films, I loved My Sisters Keeper and I sob like a child every time but I love getting so engrossed in a film that you actually cry, not shed a little tear here and there but actually cry (including snot, load sobs and many many tears). Maybe it's a kind of release (as I have a habit of not crying at anything in real life!) or maybe I just like to torture myself with weepy films when I know i'm going to end up a blubbering mess - who knows!!
This was a heart-breaking but beautiful film to watch, and I encourage anyone who has any doubts to give this a try. I'm also looking forward to seeing more of Shailene Woodley, as she was fantastic in this.
Great film, really close to the book which I loved. Thanks to both sides of the coin being present in our review whether you have read the book or not we would recommend you see it.