Friday, December 20, 2013

The Fault in our Stars; One Sick Love Story or One Sick Poster?


The first poster for The Fault in Our Stars was released this week. What's not to love about the image of Hazel and Gus, face to face, on the grass? I like the head to head pose, somewhat reminiscent of iconic lovebirds Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward on the poster for A New Kind of Love (below); actors Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley look young and beautiful and sweetly in love. With Hazel's cannula clearly in place, in plain view, you know this is no ordinary love story ... 'It's one sick love story.' 
Woah! 
The tagline for The Fault in our Stars is really "One Sick Love Story"??? 
Is the Onion in charge of the marketing of this movie? 
The darkly funny vibe seems completely out of character with tone of the book and the film. Unless this is the story of Sid and Nancy, and not Gus and Hazel? 

I heard through the twitter vine that plenty of TFIOS fans are disappointed, while others are embracing the line. 

Buzzfeed reported author John Green's own reaction - 
        1. I did not write the tag line. To the many of you       who love it, I say, "I did not write the tag line." To     the many of you who don’t, I say, "I did not write the     tag line." 
2. These things are not my decision. It’s not my movie, or my poster. I don’t know how to make movies or movie posters. 
3. That said, I like the tag line. I found it dark and angry in the same way that Hazel is (at least at times) dark and angry in her humor. I mostly wanted something that said, "This is hopefully not going to be a gauzy, sentimental love story that romanticizes illness and further spreads the lie that the only reason sick people exist is so that healthy people can learn lessons." But that’s not a very good tag line. I like the tag line because it says, literally, the sick can also have love stories. Love and joy and romance are not just things reserved for the well. 
3a. That said, I might be wrong. I’m wrong all the time.
Shailene Woodley, our Hazel Grace doesn't much like it -
I had a really strong response to it,” Woodley told EW in an interview. “It’s definitely — it’s not a tagline that I probably would have chosen by any means. But I think that there’s so many people who are so passionate about this book that there’s nothing that will ever satisfy everyone. So I think it was just up to the discretion of the marketing mavens. For me, it was — yeah, not something I would have chosen. But it seems like half the people love it and half the people don’t like it.”
I'm with the half the people that don't like it, how about you? One thing is certain, Green and Woodley weren't consulted by the 'marketing mavens'; I wonder how director Josh Boone feels about it? I don't know how much say the studio gives directors when it comes to marketing; my feeling is next to none.

One thing that really is certain ... marketing is meant to get people talking and paying attention. On the off-chance the young adult (and old) fans of the book weren't paying attention, they most definitely are now. Marketing mavens; your mission is accomplished.




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