There was not a seat open or a dry eye to be found in the movie theatre for tonight’s opening of The Fault in Our Stars. Groups of young girls sat elbow to elbow, a few parents scattered throughout the auditorium that filled up 45 minutes before the film began. Trailer after trailer played; I grew confused as to which film I had come to see!
Then Hazel’s (Shailene Woodley) narration caused a general ripple of excitement as the story began. There were sighs when the dreamy Augustus (Ansel Elgort) came onscreen. These choral responses grew more audible as the story progressed. His statement that “I love you, Hazel Grace,” melted hearts and ruined future expectations. No boy will ever be able to compete with that longing stare.
The sobbing began in earnest when the story of star-crossed cancer patients took a turn for the worst. The wailing built to a crescendo and continued as a wave of sound as the crowd filed out of the theatre. Amused patrons watched as the audience streamed out, many clutching damp handkerchiefs.
“Good movie?” asked a man as we passed by.
“Great book,” we replied.
That book, The Fault in our Stars, was the reason for the crowd. These girls had filled a movie theatre because of a book, Jon Green’s bestselling young adult novel. Reading the book brought them together to share the film…and sob and cry all over again.