Common Sense Note
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).
There's one love scene, and it's more emotional than physical in its depiction and doesn't feel gratuitous. It takes place between two teens who are both virgins, and this is their one and only time making love. The girl has her top off, but you just see her back and the boy's chest. Afterward they're shown sleeping in each other's arms. Also a few passionate kisses.
The way that cancer physically and emotionally affects the teen characters is likely to disturb and upset viewers. A key character's death devastates other characters (as well as the audience). Characters egg another character's car.
One use of "f--k," plus a couple of uses of "s--tty," "a--hole," "douchepants," and "goddamn."
The movie, like the book, has important messages about the purpose of life: what it means to make your mark in the world and to be loved and remembered, how love can feel infinite even in a finite number of days, and how what afflicts you isn't what defines you. Most of the messages are about life, love, and relationships -- as well as literature and what it means to feel connected to the books we read. Gus' motto that you can't keep yourself from getting hurt -- but you can choose wisely about who you allow to hurt you -- is a powerful one.
Brands shown or featured include Apple (iPhone, MacBook), Converse sneakers, Honda Accord, American Airlines, Barnes & Noble, Mercedes, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Super Mario Bros, and a Mitsubishi sports coupe.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Gus has a habit of putting an unlit cigarette in his mouth and letting it dangle there, since unlit it can do no harm (he says it's a metaphor). He goes around with the same cigarette pack for most of the movie. Gus and Hazel drink champagne together twice. Author Peter Van Houten is a drunk and is nearly always shown with a drink or a flask in his hand. Hazel teases her parents that she should be allowed to be a regular teen with a fake ID so she can drink and "take" pot.