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Is There Anything to Worry About in ‘The Fault in Our Stars’?

Today is the release date for the highly anticipated movie based on the book ‘The Fault in Our Stars’.  The story revolves around two teenagers who have been diagnosed with different forms of cancer. The story follows their relationship, and how they lead their lives despite their disease.

Your student may have read the book and can’t wait to see the movie, so we want to outline anything that you may not be aware of. If you are bringing a younger sibling, you may also be wondering if the content is appropriate.

Basic Info:

Director: Josh Boone

Stars: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe

Rating: PG-13

Run Time: 125 min/ 2hours 5 minutes

How Shocking is The Fault in Our Stars?

The story shows what it is like for kids to have these diseases. The author of the book wanted to bring awareness to these forms of cancer, and show what kids have to go through. Because of this there are a few scenes in the movie which can be a little jarring. These scenes include injections, a scene where infected stitches are shown, as well as the character getting very sick from the infection. They do not sugar coat the symptoms of cancer, and it can be difficult to watch.

At one point in the story, two characters meet what could be considered the antagonist of the film. This character is a drunk, and during the interaction they have with him, he is drinking and noticeably drunk.

Is The Fault in our Stars educational?

Yes. While you’re not going to learn math or science, you are going to be inspired to learn more. The title for the book was inspired by a quote from Shakespeare.

The dialogue in the movie is great, characters use words that are bigger than themselves, and much of the plot is based on a fictional book. Ideas are a center focus of the film, ‘who you are’, ‘how you will be remembered’, and ‘the accomplishments you can achieve’, are questions the characters ask and discuss.

Cancer researchers have said the characters’ forms of cancer may be unlikely for the character’s ages, but again, the film and book strive to bring awareness to various forms of cancer, and support research for it.

Is there nudity?

Yes, there is one scene in the film where two characters are in bed, and both have their shirts off. The female character takes her bra off, with the camera behind her so nothing explicitly is shown. The next scene shows the two characters under the covers with the female character’s back exposed. Also one character has one leg, and the audience is shown this during this scene. If you watch the trailer above, that is about 80% of the scene, to give you an idea.

Is there foul language?

Yes. The ‘F’ word is used once in the movie, the ‘S’ word twice, and the ‘B’ word several times, with a few ‘damns’ and other minor curse words. While the ‘F’ word is used, I have to say it was very appropriate in its use. It would be easy to explain to a child that it’s a very bad word. Also the ‘F’ word is used once in the book, and the ‘S’ word is used several more times.

Your child should see this movie if:

They read the book. I want to be honest with you and say I did NOT read the book, however my girlfriend did and I consulted her on the accuracy. I have it on good authority that the movie remains very true to the book, and if you or your child enjoyed the book, the movie does not stray far. Also the author has stated that he thought the movie stayed very true to the book.

Your child should NOT see this movie if:

  • They are uncomfortable with death. Cancer sucks, and this movie portrays several forms of it, and none of it is good. The characters openly talk about their struggles and the side effects that it causes.
  • They are sensitive. I’m an adult, and I struggled to keep the emotions in check on this one. It’s a sad movie.

If you enjoyed the film and the book, I encourage you to read more about the author, and his amazing story.

Read more movie reviews here


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Peter Spain

Peter Spain

Peter Spain is a contributing writer for Learning Liftoff and a manager at K12. A graduate from George Mason University, Peter has worked for several years in the education and entertainment industry. He strives to make learning fun for children by contributing to the games and activities section of the site, and keeping an eye out for advancements in edutainment.

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