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DVD Releases - The Fault in Our Stars - REVIEW by Diane McCurdy


DVD Releases - REVIEW by Diane McCurdy
The Fault in Our Stars and So It Goes 

by Diane McCurdy

Two romantic films just out on disc represent major age polarities. One is an elder romantic comedy and the other is a Romeo and Juliet type of teen-age weeper.

The Fault in Our Stars is an adaptation of a best selling young adult novel. Hazel Grace, Shailene Woodley, the lead, has cancer and needs oxygen to aid her breathing because of her damaged lungs. At the urging of her mother, she reluctantly joins a support group. Once there she meets Gus who has lost a leg to the disease. They bond over a favorite book written by a Dutch/American, Willem DaFoe. Against the background of their increasing romantic attachment, Gus engineers a trip to Amsterdam for himself and Hazel to meet the author. The excursion is financed by one of the Make-A-Wish type organizations who sponsor events for those who have a terminal diagnosis. Once overseas the couple is disillusioned after meeting their idol whose negativity inserted into the narrative serves to indicate something undecipherable. Woodley as Hazel Grace is a hot commodity in Hollywood ever since appearing with George Clooney in The Descendants. She is very natural and defies the stereotype of the swinging ingenue. Despite some sad twists, to the film’s credit, it never dissolves into syrupy sentimentality.

The second film stars Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton both of a certain age who have been in the business for a long time. Diane and Michael live in the same apartment complex which Michael owns. He is brusque and a little arrogant so since there is initially antipathy between the two there is an unwritten but firm movie convention that they will end up together. Both are grieving the loss of a spouse. Diane is a sometimes lounge singer with a thin but sweet voice. Michael the quintessential salesman, a realtor, brokers a lucrative contract for her from nightclub owner, Frankie Valli—yes, that Frankie Valli of the Four Seasons who is enjoying somewhat of a comeback because of the film Jersey Boys (also just released on DVD). This plot revolves around Michael’s ex-junkie son who has to go to prison and must prevail upon his father to care for his nine year old daughter. Michael, of course, is inept so Diane takes over and …......So It Goes, which just happens to be the name of the film.

Whether we have tragic, star struck teen-agers in love or feisty funny sexagenarians, love is still that transcendent emotional experience that makes the world go ‘round.