On screen stories


I’m deviating a bit from my typical story telling medium of letters today, please bear with me.

This morning while watching the news, they shared the box office rankings. Two things they said were unusual. The first was that the audience of the two highest grossing films, “The Fault in Our Stars” ($43.2 million) and “Maleficient” ($33.5 million), were attended by a majority female teen audience. Typically, male teens have the highest percentage of ticket buyers. The second thing was that high grossing summer films are usually action packed with lots of special effects.

“The Fault in our Stars” does not have those kinds of special effects.

One commentator said that the best special effect is a good script. In Aristotle’s “Poetics,” which outlines his ideas about what makes a good play, he writes that plot is what draws an audience in and warns against the use of spectacle.

Even thousands of years later, that seems to be holding true.

“The Fault in Our Stars” stars Shailene Woodley as Hazel and Ansel Elgort as Gus, two teens that meet at a cancer support group and fall in love. It is based on the novel of the same name written by John Greene. It opened in theaters on June 6.