Nathanial Garrod

Thoughts on the TFIOS Poster

The movie poster for the film adaptation of John Green’s New York Times Bestselling young adult novel The Fault in Our Stars was released today exclusively on BuzzFeed. The novel is about star-crossed young lovers who meet at a support group for teens diagnosed with cancer. This novel conveys such raw emotion that many who read it share stories of where they were when they started crying – I have heard some tell tales of crying on the bus or train heading to work. Personally, I read the book in one sitting in the middle of the spring term of my first year of grad school.

The poster shows Shailene Woodley, playing Hazel Lancaster, laying in a field with nasal cannula, staring into the eyes of Ansel Elgort, who plays Augustus Waters. We will get a short preview of Woodley and Elgort’s acting together as they play main character and her brother in the Spring release Divergent, based on a novel of the same name. These two franchises could easily catapult the two into the hearts and minds of many fandoms (for the uninitiated, fandoms are the communities based around the enjoyment of a particular work of art) as well as jump start their careers.

Yet the shocking part of the poster is the tagline at the bottom of the poster; “One Sick Love Story.” There are a couple likely explanations for the selection of this tagline;

  • A twisted reference to the serious subject matter of the story, using the style of sarcastic humor the characters would use.
  • A play on words based on a poor estimation of the target audience for this film – assuming that the target audience is primarily teenage girls who read Vampire Literature (or, as Barnes and Nobles likes to call it “Teenage Supernatural Fiction”) – and a joking reference to the number of times “this [work of art] sucks] has been used in reference to a story about vampires.

It looks like Entertainment Weekly has already written about this tagline – feel free to check out that article.

What do YOU think of the tagline? Does it work? Do you think the poster can do without it? Let me know what you think down in comments!

EDIT: It looks like John Green has commented on the tagline over on his Tumblr-thing!

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