I would have written something earlier, had I not fallen asleep at half 8 yesterday evening – face first into my chemistry textbook, with the electric light orchestra having been playing on loop for the past 4 hours. In all seriousness, I cannot wait until I have this exam behind me, because I seem to just about know half of it on a good day, so there’s still quite a way to go.
But on to what I wanted to talk about, The Fault in Our Stars. The book had intrigued me since the day it came out, but a combination of a badly written blurb, a badly-written blurb, and a mile-long library waiting list meant I didn’t actually get round to reading it until about 18 months ago. It was simply amazing. It was one of about 3 books to have ever made me cry. I know my premotion of it sounds somewhat overzealous, but I would recommend it in a heartbeat. Of all the millions (or maybe just thousands) of books I have ever read, it is my joint second favourite, which is a very high honour.
Understandably, when I first heard about the film, I had reservations. The guy they chose to play Issac looked nothing like I’d imagined him, nor Van Houten, nor even, back when she still had long hair, Hazel herself. I think in order to understand how nervous I was that the film would be bad, you’d need to understand more than how the day I met its author was the best day of my life. As the hype grew, and so did the popularity of the book, so did my nerves. I wasn’t going to set my heart on this being an amazing movie – because I knew that if it was exactly what I’d imagined, I’d be disappointed.
And yet, I wasn’t. Needing something to pull me through the horror of A-Level exams, I booked tickets for my younger sister and I to see the film on Thursday, as part of “The Week Before Our Stars”. Having turned up an hour early, somewhat surprised by the commerical hype and nature of the crowd – about 90% 14 year old girls, including one who I used to sort-of-teach, which turned out to be kind of embarrassing – posters and discussions about Ansel Engort’s hair in hand, I was prepared for the worse. Skip ahead about 2 and a half hours, and you have me, sat uncomfortably near the back of the cinema, sobbing into my sister’s arm.
There were, of course, parts of the book that weren’t in the movie. There were things that could have been better. Some of the changes I would have liked to have made would really not have been hard. The movie was by no means perfect. But it was also brilliant. I expected the worst, and was thus surprised. I was quick to judge, and saw my expectations crumble. For when we expect the worse, is sometimes when the best happens, and that, I think, is the fault in all of us.
(who suddenly sounds a lot more pretension than she would like)