Never before has the word “okay” caused so many misty eyes.
The trailer for the highly anticipated movie adaptation of John Green’s novel The Fault In Our Stars was released on Wednesday, June 29, after a low-quality version leaked two days before. The Fault In Our Stars follows teenage cancer patients Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters. It encapsulates their romance, their quest to find a mysterious Dutch author whose novel (which they idolize) ends abruptly halfway through, and the ultimate toll that disease takes upon their lives. TFIOS (pronounced “tif-ee-ohs”), as it’s commonly known by fans, has garnered enthusiastic praise from fellow author Markus Zusak, The New York Times, Kirkus Reviews, USA Today, and many more. This praise stems not only from the novel’s deep insights into the nature of disease, but also for its observations about teenagers, romance, literature, and the fragile importance of life itself.
The movie adaptation, produced by Fox 2000, stars Shailene Woodley as Hazel and Ansel Elgort as Augustus. Woodley and Elgort had previously worked together during the filming of Divergent, and if the TFIOS trailer is any indication, they have superb onscreen chemistry. Hazel begins the trailer with a short, insightful narration. After that, the trailer mostly consists of the well-cast actors delivering the witty, perfect-sounding dialogue that Green is notable for writing in all of his novels. While not all of the lines in the trailer are lifted exactly from the novel, they all sound like something that Green could have written. A brief flash to a scene where Hazel and Augustus’s friend Isaac (Nat Woolf) eggs a car leaves me optimistic that the script hasn’t cut memorable moments for the sake of a shorter runtime. The constant presence of Hazel’s cannula and oxygen tank, without which she cannot breathe, serves as a constant visual reminder of her disease. While the novel made frequent references to them to remind the reader of their presence, the shock of always seeing evidence of disease is a constant reminder of how the visual medium will be able to offer some improvements and a new take on the beloved story.
The trailer’s music, a piano piece followed by the One Republic song “What You Wanted,” is surprisingly upbeat for a movie with such a focus on cancer, but it’s fitting, because the ultimate point of the story is the happiness the star-crossed couple find in each other. A jarring interruption to the soundtrack shows how suddenly fear and disease can ruin an otherwise perfect moment.
Excitement was evident online as #tfiostrailer rose to the number one trending topic in the U.S on Twitter. The actual video, released on 20th Century Fox’s YouTube channel, has received well over 3.3 million views. As ironically noted on Green’s Facebook page, this is more views than all the videos of Brotherhood 2.0 received in 2007. Brotherhood 2.0 was a project Green collaborated on with his brother Hank, in which they alternated making a video every day for an entire year. It was the project that first propelled Green into online stardom, and the fact that its combined views were topped by a single video is evident of how much his popularity has grown.
Teen.com has set up a contest offering an all-expense paid trip to the movie’s premiere in New York City to whoever sends in the most emotional, enthusiastic, or hilarious reaction video to the trailer. While it’s unusual enough for a trailer to provoke such a reaction, it’s especially amusing that the last word of the trailer is simply “okay.” As readers of the novel can attest, “okay” becomes an important word within the protagonists’ romance. The trailer’s nod to a relatively small detail of the novel is a sign that while the movie will add its own original touch, it will ultimately stay true to the story in which so many people have found meaning.
The Fault In Our Stars premieres on June 6, incidentally also the last day of school for MFS. With the onset of summer and the release of TFIOS, that day will be more than okay.