With the release of a new extended trailer, there’s a lot of talk about The Fault in Our Stars. Most love it, but there is some debate over the overt pretentiousness of protagonist Hazel Grace’s (Shailene Woodley) main love interest Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort).
On first watch, we were wooed. We laughed at Hazel’s wish to “take pot” and teared up at the utterances of “okay? okay.” But after wiping the John Green-induced stardust from our eyes, we gave it a second watch, and came out with more mixed feelings about the whole thing.
Most of our concerns also center around Gus. The character is well known to be a bit pretentious; Green himself has commented on how that’s the character’s main flaw. That arrogance shows through strongly in the trailer, with the unlit cigarette between his lips (“a metaphor”) and the fear of oblivion. But through Elgort’s performance, which appears to be a bit wooden, Augustus’ more endearing side is lost. He seems to maintain the same slightly slimy expression throughout the entire thing. The trailer doesn’t convince us that he’s someone worthy of Hazel’s love; in fact, he comes off more creepy than anything.
Many people defend Gus as he appears in the trailers. MTV reminds haters, “If anyone has earned the right to be pretentiously metaphorical and precious about death, it’s probably the 17 year-old guy standing outside of a cancer support group wearing a prosthetic leg.” But though book-Gus lets that front down and allows us to love him, Elgort needs to do his part to get us to love movie-Gus by letting his guard down.
Woodley, for her part, looks excellent. Hazel seems witty and funny, if a bit less serious than her book counterpart.
We love John Green. Sometimes it seems like he’s all we can talk about. So the idea that something with his name could be less than perfect is unsettling.
But this is just a trailer; nothing can be known for sure until we see the full film, which hits theatres June 6. Those who have read and loved the book are sure to be there—us included—but is this trailer enough to bring in new fans? You tell us: