CANCER IS FUNNY – A Fault In Our Stars
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When Mel Gibson’s Anti-Semetic comedy “The Passion Of The Christ came out, I had heard horror stories about children crying, old people having heart attacks in the middle of the theater, and a host of other goofy things happening. I decided to buy into the hype and see what the big deal was, and promptly purchased tickets for myself and two friends.

While I was waiting for the feature to begin, the Usher had told us about his life as a drug addict, and how while cleaning the theater one day, Jesus had looked him straight in the eye from the big screen and inspired him to do the right thing and change his life for the better (a power normally reserved for Kevin Spacy when he brings his “A” game).

My friends and I were pretty excited to see this movie now. Unfortunately we were simply forced to endure a malnourished, yet attractive young man being beaten and murdered before our very eyes. It was disappointing to say the least.

I understand that Mr. Gibson’s vision of actual, factual history is supposed to cater to a specific, psychotically religious demographic, much in the same way that Hostel caters to bloodthirsty idiots who think legitimate horror movies such as “Psycho” and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” are boring because they lack blood, tits, or bloody tits, but I also feel that it is the responsibility of the artist to at least make an offering that will spark some form of meaningful discussion, should they decide that their work is important enough to be advertised and marketed outside of it’s niche.

If I didn’t give a shit about comic books, I could still see “The Dark Knight” and feel that I saw a competent Cop Drama that featured a masked vigilante. I could sit through “Watchmen”, despite not reading the book, and still have an Alternate History Period Piece about the Countdown to Extinction. “Hostel” and “The Passion” were simply incapable of doing this, and THAT, my friends, is why I dislike them with all of my heart. Now you can all stop bothering me when I’m drunk at a party with this nonsense.

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I have wanted to use this joke in an article for over a decade.

I digress.

I finally got around to seeing “The Cancer Movie”.

I am a firm believer in the idea that if a film can make you feel feelings, then it has done it’s job, and in that regard “A Fault In Our Stars” could be considered at least a better movie than “The Passion”.

It had characters who were interesting enough for the most part, such as Hazel’s mother who really needed more screen time, and whoever the fuck Willem Dafoe was supposed to be. A feat that would require time travel and bribe money to accomplish with any film featuring the words “Eli” and “Roth” on it’s poster.

It also told a coherent story with a set up, conflict, and resolution, which is something that we’ve all been taught to explore in our High School English classes and should immediately send up red flags to anyone that tries to argue the merits of “Hostel” as a piece of human art. The plot moved along and kept me interested enough to not fall asleep, which is more than I could say for the brutal Snuff classic, “The Passion Of The Christ”.

But why am I making it a trend to mention horrible, gory movies during my analysis? Simply put, all three of these movies are DESIGNED to cater to a specific crowd, and all three of these movies are trying to tell you that the world isn’t actually a pretty place. There’s also that whole “faith in God” aspect that is cleverly hidden in two of the films and blatantly paraded in the third, but that’s a discussion for a different day.

“The Fault In Our Stars” simply didn’t move me. It may be because I am a cold, terrible human being, or because as a veteran of Jasonrivera.com, I think cancer is funny. It may even be something as simple as growing up with a lunatic Mother who constantly faked being on her deathbed in an attempt at keeping her family together. Faking weakness to force everyone else to be strong for no reason, at a time when her strength is what her three children desperately needed. I don’t know for sure, and my therapist doesn’t give a shit about the exercise of dissecting movies as a coping mechanism.

Simply put, the movie kept me interested, but didn’t move me. I had watched from the safety of the concession stand of my theater as literal droves of teenage girls went in excited and came out upset but optimistic. I had shot the shit with Ushers, who were annoyed at having to clean up snotty rags and tissue boxes after each showing, and I had even ended up having to see “How To Train Your Dragon 2: The Revenge” because a fake date didn’t think I could watch two dying kids fall in love without ruining it for her. Much like the buzz surrounding “Mel Gibson Hates Jews And Thinks Jesus Really Existed And Had Super Powers”, I had a massive plate of overhype to digest.

Throughout the entire movie, I felt like my intelligence was being insulted, but had to remember that I was definitely not the type of person that this movie was made for. It’s not that I’m some cool guy who doesn’t shed manly tears for injustice. Adam Sandler being a fat piece of shit, dying in the middle of the street via heart explosion, begging his estranged son for forgiveness made me cry when it happened in Click. I understand that the act of watching an Adam Sandler film is enough to make any rational human being weep, but something about the scene legitimately touched me. I might as well lay all the cards out on the table here and tell you that I secretly have a weakness for sappy stories. I’ve seen my fair share of the heartwarming and the heart wrenching. Nights in Rodanthe fucks my shit up on a whole other level. Those two people found strength in each other, and then Richard Gere has to go and die and leave Meg Ryan all alone. I can feel the waterworks starting up again just typing about it!

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Some stories about dying of cancer are better executed than others…

I simply sat through the pretentious tale of two star-crossed lovers shilling iPhones, and felt smug in the idea that I have endured things that were just as horrible as these two kids, and didn’t even have the promise of a fatal affliction waiting to take my pain away at the end of the day. I legitimately laughed at the scene of Gus, in a huddled, drooling mess, crying “I JUST WANTED TO GET CIGARETTES BY MYSELF” as he awaits the ambulance. I had to walk out of the theater for a few minutes out of courtesy to the rest of the patrons. The only moment that I really felt anything resembling sadness in the entire film was the scene where the author sits in the car with Hazel and struggles to explain why he’s such a drunk asshole.

The idea of a man who can write a book that can touch the soul enough to be the entire basis of the book that this movie is based upon, yet cannot eloquently explain his motivations or express his own grief over loss is incredibly powerful to me. I give the rest of the movie a 5/10. If you aren’t a fourteen year of girl, you will at least enjoy Willem Dafoe’s small contribution.

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