Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley), a 16-year-old cancer patient, meets and falls in love with Gus Waters (Ansel Elgort), a similarly afflicted teen from her cancer support group.
It seems like a million years ago since this came out when Woodley with Elgort were all the rage in Hollywood over this. Even though the following subgenre of YA films where one or both characters suffer from a terminal disease and fall in love is questionable at best, this adaptation could've been terribly schmaltzy and pretentious. But it's not. The casting was pretty stellar, and managed to come out at the right time before the internet tried to cancel John Green for writing a book dedicated to his real-life inspiration.
Everyone deserves a great love story, but for 17-year-old Simon Spier, it's a little more complicated. The only person who knows Simon's gay is an anonymous classmate known as 'Blue' he emailed through an online school blog. As he tries to figure out who 'Blue' is, he faces being blackmailed by another student into coming out.
It was odd to see the movie first, and then read the book. I didn't expect the two to be so vastly different. The book isn't bad per say, but it skims over the story more than I thought it would. The movie's script is much tighter in handling Blue's identity, the blackmail, and developing the characters. And Nick Robinson's performance is wonderful (a great example of a straight actor playing a gay character).
The Perks of Being A Wallflower
Socially awkward teen Charlie (Logan Lerman) always watching life from the sidelines, until two charismatic students free-spirited Sam (Emma Watson) and her stepbrother Patrick (Ezra Miller) welcome them into his inner circle of friends.
I miss the days when YA book adaptations lived up to the hype. The book and the film really helped me discover who I was in my early 20s and going to college, and it's one that I always think about from time to time and watch around the holidays (even if it isn't a particularly cheerful movie for the season.)
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