The Fault In Our Stars Film Unfaithful To The Book?

It started as a book by John Green about two teenagers with cancer who fall in love. Since then, it has inspired everything from fan art, to fan fiction, to original music, and now a feature film. The following of The Fault In Our Stars did have a head start in the Nerdfighter community, which consists of the 1.6 million viewers of John Green’s internet vlog show that he runs with his brother Hank called the vlogbrothers. And it’s that fanbase that might be the inevitable downfall of the film.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a lucky group of Nerdfighters was allowed to view an advanced screening of The Fault In Our Stars film starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort. Loyal fans of The Fault In Our Stars novel were displeased with the script, claiming that too much was left out from the original story. Most of the complaints were minor, such as the issue 19-year-old Nerdfighter Jocelyn Swenson had with the changing of a line of dialogue from using the word “self-aggrandizing” to “cocky.”

“Things like that bothered me because they felt like they needed to dumb it down, because there are some long complicated words in the book,” Swenson told the Wall Street Journal. “I appreciated John not dumbing down the language in the book, so it bothered me that the movie did.” Another older fan of John Green’s book, Rebecca Woontner, also complained about inconsistencies in The Fault In Our Stars‘ dialogue telling the Wall Street Journal, “I’m such a book purist, I was like, I’m going to know if the dialogue isn’t exactly the same as the book.”

TFIOS Movie Poster

But both fans took issue with the larger scope of the story. The Fault In Our Stars novel deals with issues of death and loss, like any book about cancer patients would; but it also tackles philosophical issues of existentialism, heroism, purpose, and oblivion. Both of the fans interviewed after the early screening of The Fault In Our Stars were disappointed with how the film portrayed those abstract concepts. Swenson in particular thought the film adaptation lacked the novel’s deeper meaning.

“Certain themes were not discussed. They left out the part where Gus talks about how the marks you leave on the world are so often scars, and when he talks about the concept of living a heroic life and how it doesn’t necessarily mean leaving your mark on the world.” reported that Shailene herself, who read the book prior to being cast, thought the script was “perfect.” While Green’s fans may not approve of The Fault In Our Stars film, the author himself has said many times in his videos that he thinks the movie is excellent. In the following video you can see John explain his feelings about the faithfulness of The Fault In Our Stars film and how he thinks the script is “one of the most faithful [he’s] ever read.”