TFIOS: When Cigarettes Look Smokin' Hot, Will Kids Get the Real Message?
And then, The Fault in Our Stars puts cigarettes squarely back on the lips of teens. A character trait of lead character 18-year-old Augustus Waters, a cancer patient in remission, is that he always has a cigarette dangling out of his mouth. Unlit.
The teen film, which carries such a phenomenal message about living life, gives a starring role to something that causes death. I don’t mean cancer EXACTLY, although cancer is just as much a character in the film as Hazel or Augustus. I mean the actual cancer sticks, themselves.
In the book’s oft-quoted line, Augustus explains of his cigarette habit, “It’s a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing.” Beautiful, except for we parents have to wonder, will our teens and tweens receive the message they should not smoke? Or, will the cool factor of hunky Ansel Elgort, who plays Augustus, wearing a cigarette inspire kids to try it for themselves? After all, nothing makes an activity more aspirational than if a popular, charismatic actor makes it look, well, smoking hot.
Watch him explain it to Shailene Woodley's Helen Grace in this clip:
Here are three more movies to see with your family this weekend:
Edge of Tomorrow. Teen boys, get ready to have your mind blown. This Tom Cruise movie is the sci-fi Groundhog Day, but during a dystopian war against aliens.
Maleficent. So, your daughter is not yet ready for TFIOS? Maleficent is a perfect mother-daughter movie, exploring the different meanings of love while also delivering a cautionary tale about revenge.
Blended. Puberty is the most awkward of life stages; it makes ideal fodder for comedy, especially in the hands of Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, who are in over their heads as single parents of children of the opposite gender.
Read Tara’s parent movie reviews of these films at ThatWasSomething.com and what kids think at KidsPickFlicks.com.
Tara is a kids' movie expert and the editor-in-chief of KidsPickFlicks.com, the movie site where all kids are movie critics. She is a regular contributor to Variety's annual Youth Impact Report and has an extensive background in radio and television, including working as a film analyst and Family Flicks Movie Critic for Reelz Channel. Tara thinks Hollywood needs more of Steve Zahn, despises when grown-up movies are marketed to kids, and would probably vote for Tom Hanks for president. When Tara is not at the movies, she's exploring new restaurants with her husband and three children.
Next Article by Peter MartinExclusive 'Anna' Clip: Don't Let Her in or This Might Happen to You
Jenn is married with two beautiful daughters and has been blogging for over twelve years.
A native of Chile, Pilar (@daspilar) is an award-winning writer and social media strategist.
Erik is a leading movie commentator who has worked for outlets such as AOL Moviefone and Movies.com.
Tara is the editor-in-chief of KidsPickFlicks.com.
Caryn Bailey authors the site Rockin' Mama, a lifestyle blog that focuses on everything from food and travel to film and fashion.
Sean is a film reviewer for The Washington Post and daily contributor to Fandango.