Mike Birbiglia Takes Small Role In YA Adaptation The Fault In Our Stars

By Katey Rich 2013-09-02 07:29:04discussion comments
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If you're a fan of young adult novels, especially the really good ones that have nothing to do with vampires or wizards or anything else, there's no bigger upcoming movie than The Fault In Our Stars, the screen adaptation of John Green's heartbreaking, funny, wonderfully written book. The movie version is already underway filming in Pittsburgh, with all-around superstar Shailene Woodley and newcomer Ansel Elgort as the two leads, but it's not too late for another relatively big name to join the cast. We'll leave it to Green himself, a prolific Internet presence, to break the news:



The Fault In Our Stars, inspired by Green's contact with a fan, follows the story of teenager Hazel (Woodley), who has cancer but is defiantly not A Kid With Cancer. Patrick is the adult leader of the teen cancer support group that Hazel grudgingly attends, but where she also meets Augustus (Elgort), a boy with cancer but also a wicked sense of humor and, it turns out, a crush on Hazel. Patrick is a minor and mostly comedic figure, which ought to make him perfect for stand-up comedian and storyteller Birbiglia, who debuted his own first feature Sleepwalk With Me last year. Getting ahead of the game in getting fans of the book on his side, Birbiglia included an in-joke about Patrick's verbal tics in his own tweet about the casting:



Don't get the joke about "literally"? Don't let me explain-- just pick up the book itself. Plenty of grown-ups, myself and The New York Times have fallen hard for it, and praised the way it redefines the stories we tell about kids with cancer, namely by making them actual human beings instead of sob stories. And though the movie adaptation comes with some question makes, including relative newbie director Josh Boone and the challenge of adapting Green's fantastic prose, it's stacking up a mighty cast in its favor. Pretty much all I need is Woodley, who proves over and over again she's a total badass, but there's also Admission standout Nat Wolff and Laura Dern, plus True Blood star Sam Trammell. Will the movie make me weep openly on a beach the way the book did? Maybe not. But Lord knows we need more stories about teenagers without superpowers, and Woodley already proved how well that can work in The Spectacular Now. Hopefully next summer we'll get to add The Fault In Our Stars to the list of modern teen classics.
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