Monday, June 9, 2014

100 Books My College Students Assigned Me: Movie Review: The Fault in Our Stars

At the very beginning of this 100 book journey a student asked me how hard I wanted to cry when I read the book she assigned me.

Her approximate quote was: Hard? or REALLY hard?

I told her I could handle the hard stuff, bring it.

So she brought me The Fault in Your Stars, and I fell in love with it instantly.

Beside the fact the book was engaging, smart and funny, it also brought my daughter and I closer together because she saw me reading it and came to warn me, ohhhh, you're going to CRY!

She took a picture of me reading the book and sent it to her friends so they could see me BEFORE I started sobbing hysterically, then told me I would be allowed to take her to see the MOVIE when it came.

Fine, fine, I told her, and went back to the book and cried my heart and soul out with happiness and sadness as the beautiful wonderfulness of, oh, you know what I mean if you read the book!

Fast forward to June -- I'm 50 books farther in my book journey but The Fault in Our Stars has left an indelible mark on my imagination and soul.

I want to see the movie badly enough that I'm willing to take a pack of 8th graders who may/may not let me sit with them but will definitely let me pay for them and feed them and drive them around for a few more years.

At first the coordination is nearly impossible.

What if we meet X at Y and bring Z to point B and then K's mom can drop her... but wait, we can only have 5 people in our car....

Then it falls into place.

I take a bold step and buy the tickets on Fandango. I'm not a buy-things-on-my-iPhone woman, but I have to tell you it was way easier than I thought it would be and I will definitely do it again.

On the day we are to see the movie Zoe gets her first paid babysitting gig.  Fine, fine, off she goes.  The only problem is that her friends all arrive before Zoe can get home, and we find ourselves in this awkward place where they feel like they need to talk to politely talk me and I can only take so much politeness so I offer them to wait in Zoe's room.

Fine, Zoe gets home and I give every 10 minutes to eat and get in the car. The movie starts in 90 minutes but I have no patience for crowded theatres. Get there early and ready to win or stay home, right?

To get our tickets I just need to show the movie lady my email from Fandango and then we head into the theatre where we stand in a long line that moves slower than Space Mountain when Space Mountain is broken.  We aren't that far back in line - maybe 30 people are in front of us -- so for the next half hour we get to judge people walking by.

  Look Zoe - that looks like X if X were only a happy  person that looked friendly! She agrees. Look Mom, I want those shoes. Look, look at that dress, I'm in love.  Wait, wait, check the back of her head is that....?

A movie person flanked by officers (mall officers or real officers? not sure) opens the velvet gate and unleashes us to fill the movie.  Teens and tweens and sorority girls in all combinations with and without men and mothers and dates and food stampede to fill the room.  We find a row right in the middle and spend the next part of our night out judging people who arrive late and look puzzled that no one saved them a seat.

Almost 2 hours after we left the house the movie finally starts.

Its better than I'd hoped for.

When Gus pulls out tulips I reach into my tiny purse and pull out a wad of paper towels and silently fill one.  I hear sniffs and coughs from people who read the book and know what's coming.

The only time I slid out of the movie (I was on the end of the row, so this was permissible)  was during a hotel scene that I knew wouldn't be too steamy so I slipped out and checked email and let the girls  watch the PG-13 skin on skin action in relative privacy.

At one point in the movie I swear I hear howls, sniffs and coughs covered by a few giggles and "stop it, stop it, don't cry, you knew this would happen!"

I knew it would happen and I cried too, filling 5 select-a-size heavy duty papertowels.

By the time the movie comes around to full circle I am so tired from crying that my head hurts a little (in a good way?) and I want to escape the crowd and sit under the stars and feel their peace.