The Fault In Our Stars movie is an insult to the book. They took an incredibly funny and moving story about two lovestruck kids dying from cancer and turned it into a tweenage cryfest. And yes, I cried. But only because I’m human and people dying from cancer gives me the sads. Not because I cared at all about Hazel (Shailene Woodley) and Augustus (Ansel Elgort). Unlike the book, the movie does make turn the whole thing into a weepy cancer tale. Which is most definitely sad, but also most definitely not the story that I fell in love with. Nothing made this more obvious than the scene in the Anne Frank house.
I know what you’re thinking, what scene in the Anne Frank house? Isn’t this a romance? Well let me tell you, so you can fully be offended. Or just dumbstruck at what a stupid idea this was to include in the movie. Now, in the movie’s defense, this scene does take place in the book. But it was so inconsequential there that I didn’t even remember it. Whereas in the movie it’s a hundred thousand minute plot point that really stands out.
The scene takes place in Amsterdam after Hazel and Gus meet the disgruntled author, Van Houten (Williem Dafoe). Because Van H was such a massive douchebag, his assistant takes pity on the sick kids and offers to show them around town. Because they’re in Amsterdam, they end up at the Anne Frank House. Which is fine, because it is a huge tourist attraction for people in Amsterdam. What’s not fine is what follows.
Hazel’s cancer prevents her from being able to do a lot of physical activity. But her spirit prevents her from saying no to an opportunity. Therefore she insists on climbing all four flights of stairs in the museum. It’s a grueling process for her, as well as for us to watch. Call me an asshole, but by the second staircase, we getit. This part isn’t offensive, just completely unnecessary — and completely untrue to a book that emphasized Hazel over her struggle with cancer.
They finally get to the secret annex where the Franks lived during the Holocaust. We listen to Anne Frank quotes and are forced to make the connection between her suffering and Hazel’s suffering. They’re both young women being robbed of a future because of things out of their control. I mean, I get it. I do. I see what they’re trying to say. But rather than thinking about their similarities, I’m instead stuck on the fact that this movie’s actually asking me to compare the hardships of a girl dying from cancer to a girl dying because of genocide. Obviously both are horrible, there’s no good way to die young. However that doesn’t mean we should lump all young victims together.
After hearing Anne Frank’s words, Hazel realizes that she’s young and she’s fortunate to still be alive and she needs to take advantage of her time left. So right in the middle of the secret annex, she grabs Gus and kisses him. And keeps kissing him. And before you know it, they’re making out in the Anne Frank House. Just locking lips in the same place where a Jewish family hid from the Nazis. The same place where a Jewish family got discovered and sent to their deaths. What makes this even worse is that the other tourists on the Anne Frank Tour of Teenage Romance clap for the couple as they kiss. Call me a cynic, but I don’t think tourists in the Anne Frank house would clap for kisses. You know, because talking about the Holocaust usually doesn’t people in the best mood.
Why no one making this movie thought to change this scene up a bit boggles my mind. It’s based on such a great book that it makes no sense to ruin it by exploiting the memory of a real live girl who was murdered for being Jewish. Then again, maybe we should give props to the movie makers for finding a way to make a tearjerker about two teens dying of cancer even more depressing.