20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Warning: Spoilers for The Fault in Our Stars to follow!
Even if you know nothing else about The Fault in Our Stars, you’re probably aware of the fact that it is going to make you cry. The book will make you cry, the film — which opens June 6 — will make you cry, the music videos for the soundtrack will make you cry, and if you’re a particularly dedicated fan, even the word “Okay” can make you shed a tear or two. But lest you think that The Fault in Our Stars contains nothing but moments perfectly calibrated to leave you a sobbing mess on a movie theater floor, there are several moments in the film that won’t make you misty-eyed.
Seven of them, to be exact. And it is precisely those small reprieves from the two-hour roller coaster of devastation that will help you make it through The Fault in Our Stars in one piece. Just when you think you can’t physically cry any more, these tiny segments of happiness will come along and bolster your spirits before, giving you the strength you need to make it to the end of Hazel and Gus’ love story. Because we want you to be able to savor those fleeting moments of joy when they come around, we’ve rounded them all up so that you’ll be able to recognize the perfect time to blow your nose and wipe your eyes when it comes along.
The Opening Scenes, with Hazel Moping Around the House
Wait, stay with us! It sounds like it would be terribly depressing to watch a teenage girl with cancer lie on the couch and watch television, but it is actually one of the few non-life ruining scenes in the film. In fact, Laura Dern’s relentlessly up-beat demeanor actually makes it pretty funny.
Anything with Mike Birbiglia
Any time you see Mike Birbiglia, a.k.a. Patrick, the obliviously uncool support group leader onscreen, you should savor those moments. He only gets three scenes (and an acoustic ditty about Jesus), but they’re the most traditionally comedic moments in the whole movie. So, enjoy the laughs while they’re coming, because the second Hazel and Gus make eye contact, it’s all over.
Hazel Waiting for Gus to Call
After the initial meet-cute, but before they fall completely in love, there’s a small sequence in which Hazel waits impatiently for Gus to text her. Cherish these moments, and the quiet, hopeful look on Shailene Woodley’s face. Cherish the way she lights up when he finally does text. Cherish the way your heart is warmed, but your eyes remain clear – this is the last time this will happen.
Isaac Handling His Breakup by Breaking Things
Sure, you’re going to want to focus on Hazel and Gus flirting in the foreground of this scene, but you should really be focusing on Isaac (Nat Wolff) smashing trophies behind them. Revel in the hilarity that the juxtaposition of these two scenes causes and remember the awkwardness of helping your friend though a breakup. Isaac and Monica are the only relationship in this movie that won’t shatter your heart, so appreciate that.
Gus Gets a Reply from Pete Van Houten
Depending on how emotional you are or how well you know the book, this might make you tear up a little bit, but hold strong. This is a happy scene, a moment of triumph and celebration. From here it’s nothing but heartbreak and bawling into a bucket of popcorn the size of your head. Choose this moment to save your tears.
Hazel, Gus, and Isaac Egg Monica’s House
This is it: the last moment of joy left in this film. By now, you’ve probably experienced the first wave of tears, so really take a moment to revel in the happiness that three teenagers throwing eggs at a car can bring you. Feel the thrill of watching Isaac avenge his broken heart. Every single scene after this will leave you devastated, so allow this fleeting scene of exhilaration to bolster you through the last act of this movie. Trust us, when it’s all done, you’ll look back on this moment fondly, and then you’ll probably cry with nostalgia.
See, it’s not all completely gut-wrenching and heartbreaking!