It’s hard to find fault in “The Fault in Our Stars”

When Hazel Lancaster says that her favorite novel is about cancer, she is quick to separate it from other weepy novels.

“It’s not like that, trust me,” she says, “It’s … it’s amazing.”

That same statement also applies to John Green’s novel “The Fault in Our Stars” and its 2014 film adaptation, which the student activities office (SAO) screened on Saturday, Oct. 25.

The story revolves around a 16-year-old cancer patient named Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) who is coerced by her parents to attend a local support group. There, she meets Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort), an 18-year-old cancer survivor who lost his leg to the disease. The two quickly develop a friendship over their shared love of a novel called “An Imperial Affliction,” and together they set off on a journey to find out what happens after it ends from its reclusive author.

The film, much like the book, strays from the traditional sob story plot of other romantic dramas in that it doesn’t sugarcoat the seriousness of the situation. While other dramas such as “A Walk to Remember” focus on the romance between the two leads, “Fault” focuses more on the effects of cancer on Hazel and Augustus, and the characters themselves are very well-rounded.

Woodley’s performance as the often-cynical Hazel conveys not only a strong desire to not be defined by her illness, but also a character who is wise beyond her years. Elgort, a relative newcomer whose previous efforts include “Divergent” and “Carrie,” delivers a likable performance as Gus that could have easily become too cocky but comes off as sweet and optimistic. The two have believable chemistry in the film, and their relationship progresses naturally over the course of the story.

The supporting cast in this movie is phenomenal as well. Nat Wolff provides some much-needed comic relief as Augustus’s blind friend Isaac, and Laura Dern and Sam Trammell deliver grounding performances as Hazel’s parents. Dern in particular does an excellent job at portraying the struggle of having a child with cancer. Willem Dafoe gives a scene-stealing turn as Peter van Houten, the reclusive author whom Hazel and Augustus try to track down; his scenes with them are some of the strongest points of the film.

Much of the dialogue in the film has been lifted directly from Green’s novel, from the declaration that “pain demands to be felt” to Hazel and Augustus’s “Okay?” “Okay” exchange. The script translates well from the page to the screen, which should please longtime fans of the novel, and the film hits all the right emotional notes. By the time the movie ended, there was a chorus of muffled crying echoing throughout the auditorium.

“The Fault in Our Stars” is a worthy adaptation of Green’s novel. It is a welcome change from recent romance flicks, and it illustrates that there is a difference between having a death sentence from cancer and being defeated by it.