Review: If I Stay

Sita Ahlen, Reporter

If I Stay
The movie adaptation of this best-selling novel is a part of the wave of young-adult novel adaptations so popular in the last few years.

If I Stay‘s storyline surrounds the life of 17-year-old Mia Hall, played by Chloë Grace Moretz, whose life revolves around her boyfriend (played by Jamie Blackley) and her cello. After her family is killed in an car accident and she is put into a coma, Mia begins to review her current life, deciding whether or not she wants to survive without her parents or little brother. The viewer witnesses Mia and Adam fall in love, and struggle to keep up their relationship as they both handle their music career. Adam is gone for weeks at a time with his band, which has become wildly popular, and he has a hard time juggling his career and his relationship. Mia, who wants to move across the country to pursue her dream of playing cello, is also torn between this and staying with Adam.

Entertainment Weekly says, “Like The Fault in Our Stars, If I Stay paints teen romance as little more than a wish fulfillment fairy tale. Boys like Blackley and Fault‘s Ansel Elgort always seem to be there with a sweeping gesture, a sensitive ear, and whispered promises about how their love will last until the end of time—if not longer…But there’s something about the way that Hollywood keeps churning out these puppy-dog knights that I suspect will lead to a lot of disappointment and broken hearts a few years from now. These Romeos are unrealistic fantasies.”
IMDb users rate If I Stay at 7.1 out of 10, and most users compare it to The Fault In Our Stars, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Many also recommend bringing tissues into the theaters with you.

Moretz’s performance is lacking in this film. Her lack of feeling and reaction pull away from the story. She doesn’t seem at all like she is Mia, but instead feels as though she is just a teen actress working on the movie. Her scenes were understated because of her acting skills, and I became disinterested quickly. Almost all of the actors and actress skills are lacking in this film, it could be because they are young with not much practice, or maybe the director sought the image more than the quality. We may never know.

Compared to the book, this movie is flawed, yet it also manages to add great scenes to the charming feel of the movie. In the book, by Gayle Forman, Mia and Kim’s friendship is much more built-upon. They are briefly visited upon as friends, because, the movie is mostly built upon the relationship of Adam and Mia. A pleasant surprise ingrained in the movie was the paper replica ceiling of where she would be auditioning for Juilliard. It happens to perfectly show how much Adam cares about her, and that he is with her wherever her dreams may lead her.

If you don’t mind watching a romance/drama and maybe leaving the theater in tears, this should be a movie you might consider watching. Yet, if you’d rather watch a film like Transformers: Age of Extinction, skip on this one.