“I can’t picture it as a movie, but I’m also very very close to the story, and I’ve been working on it for 10 years, so for me it’s a novel. But if the right people come along and can picture it that way, that would be awesome,” that’s what John Green told me back in January 2012, on the day his book, The Fault in Our Stars, hit shelves. Well, after seeing the trailer, we are pretty sure that “the right people” came along to turn this devastating book about kids living with (and adamantly not just dying of) cancer.
I’m going to take a minute to flip back through the novel and see just how many of the lines in the trailer are quotes directly from the book, because there are a lot of them. That alone does not make for a good adaptation, mind you. But there are other things that give us clues that Ansel Elgort, Shailene Woodley and director Josh Boone really get this story. There’s that moment when Hazel calls herself a “grenade” and Gus kinda gulps in response… and there is, of course, one of everyone’s favorite quotes: “OK?” “OK.” If there are typos in this post, I apologize. There’s some dust in my eyes.
Which brings me to one more thing that John Green said in that interview, which feels like it happened so long ago. I asked him if he was ever tempted to write a story that is, well, a little bit less heart-wrenching?
“You have no idea how sad I wanted it to be,” he said. “My responsibility is to try to tell true stories. To me a true story is always hopeful, but never simply, uncomplicatedly happy.”
Now back to watching this trailer 560 times more as I wait for the movie’s June release.