Stay with me here, and don’t dismiss this spirited YA romance on its downer topic. Hazel and Gus—Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, great chemistry—meet in a teens-with-cancer support group. They live in the present, because, well … they don’t have a future. Reluctantly, they fall in love.
The film is never maudlin or overtly manipulative (okay, a little in the last scenes), it earns the tears and offers honesty along with, yes, humor. The acting is superb, the characters are fully realized and the dialogue is sharp. Willem Dafoe shines in a subplot. This is what Nicholas Sparks keeps trying to do. Japanese title: Kitto, Hoshi no Sei Ja Nai. (125 min)