What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Fault in Our Stars is a tear-jerking love story about two deep-thinking teens with cancer and is based on one of the most beloved young adult books in recent history, by superstar author John Green. Due to the subject matter, it should come as no surprise that the movie can get emotionally intense -- especially when there's a devastating death. The central relationship is beautiful and mature and does lead to a love scene, which is handled tastefully for teen audiences (a girl's naked back and boy's chest are seen). Language is rare but does include one use of "f--k," as well as words like "s--t" and "a--hole." The teen characters drink champagne together, and a key adult supporting character is a drunk who's nearly always sipping from something. Gus also frequently puts unlit cigarettes in his mouth. As long as your teens are ready for all the feelings, sadness, and romance, this is a lovely film to watch with them, especially since Hazel's parents are portrayed so positively (they're supportive, loving, and understanding).
  • Families can talk about whether this is a successful adaptation. What changes did the filmmakers make, and you do you understand why they made them? What parts of the movie captured the book best, and what parts of the book did you miss not seeing in the movie?
  • Do you prefer adaptations based on realistic fiction or based on genre fiction, like dystopian/paranormal stories? Why do you think there are so many YA adaptations in the works?
  • What do you think the author and filmmaker are trying to say about literature and our relationship to books? Do books and movies need a happy ending to make them good or worthwhile? What are some other tales that don't end as you expected but are still among your favorite movies or books?
  • How does the movie depict sex? How is it different here from how it's often portrayed in other teen movies/books? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
POSITIVE MESSAGES
POSITIVE ROLE MODELS
VIOLENCE & SCARINESS
LANGUAGE
CONSUMERISM
DRINKING & DRUGS
SEXY STUFF
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