Momma Told Me: You can't pick the life you live, you can only pick how you live it.
The title is not in reference to any line in the movie and, though the direct adaptation from John Green's 2012 novel of the same name, is not obvious to the viewer. This is something that is mirrored in many of the films complex themes that might come across as too philosophical for the modern teen romance fan. Don't worry, that is just as fine- a fifteen year-old can go and enjoy this movie just as much as their mother, but on an entirely different level. But to define the title is to truly define the book and the film; a reference to the line directly from Shakespeare's Julius Caeser, which bluntly declares that we should not be furious with the fates for the life we are given, but the weakness in ourselves that forbid us from embracing it wholeheartedly. Or, at least that is my interpretation, I am far from a scholar.
You see The Fault is a film that will be most enjoyed if little is given away, but in my humble opinion of so beautifully composed that one could know the novel inside and out and still be drawn into loving the characters enough to feel every painful moment through the last 20 or so minutes. For those entirely in the dark about this film I would do you a disservice to try and summarize it as a story about a girl coping with cancer, or even an ill fated tale of young love. It truly is more complex than that; even the minor characters have large flaws and lessons to be learned. Every single member of the cast has hurdles and triumphs, and none are anywhere near perfect in their coping with the situations that befall them. For this the film plays as real, even in the little moments of lighthearted laughter and triumph.
The Fault, at it's core, is not about happy endings (you've been warned, but will likely not know what to expect until it is staring your heart in the face.) It is about the raw, candid, reality of life and how everyone who encounters it is faced with two options; to feel every moment through the happiness and the pain, or to run in fear of one and deny the other. What I especially like about this tale, though it deals with the prominent topic of terminal illness the characters do not cope with extravagant acts and triumphs, but by truly learning to embrace the tiny moments that make this life real. To feel is to be alive, and that includes the pain just as much as the pleasure.
What Daughter Says: You can't pick where The Fault will take you, but you can take away some great, affirming messages from the lives these star-crossed characters live.