Movie Review: If I Stay

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Movie Review: If I Stay

Nick Andrews, Co-Editor of Website / Page Editor: News

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Based on the young adult novel ‘If I stay’ by Gayle Forman, this movie follows the life of rising cellist prodigy Mia Hall. The movie starts out slow, with Mia’s family sitting around a table at breakfast time, where they hear that school has just been cancelled for the day, due to snow. Her mother decides to call in sick, so that the family can spend a day at their grandparents house. Big mistake. On the way there, a car slips on the ice, and crosses the center line, and causes a collision. The screen goes dark. When it comes back on, we see Mia laying in the snow. She gets up, and attempts to stop a fireman to see what was going on. He rushes right past her without a glance and makes his way to a horde of other first responders, all gathered around someone. When she walks over to the crowd of people to investigate, she realizes it is she who is on the ground, and that she is having an out of body experience. She soon begins to have flashbacks, and this is where, moments later, we are introduced to Adam (played by Jamie Blackley), Mia’s boyfriend. Dark haired, mysterious, and guitar playing, Adam is everything one would expect from a cliche teen heart-throb in a young adult novel. They meet when he overhears her playing her cello in the music room between classes one day. He approaches her, she swoons, and they fall in love. So stereotypical. Then we go back to the hospital where we find out that she is in surgery, and that if she wants to live, she is going to have to “fight for it”. What ensues will change her life forever, and she will decide to make the ultimate decision on whether to go on, or whether to stay.

Despite a stunning performance from Moretz, the movie falls flat at times with the dialogue very basic, and at times, even forced. There are frequent uses of vulgar language when it truly isn’t necessary. It is a bit over the top and makes the dialogue seem less sophisticated. The acting is what I think makes this movie truly excel. Moretz, one of today’s best upcoming actresses, delivers a wonderful performance, that rivals that of even the most experienced of actresses. Jamie Blackley also delivers a very solid performance as the main love-interest.

That being said, I must confess that at times, I was very confused watching the movie. The story weaves in and out of flashbacks from various times in Mia’s life. While I don’t have a problem with this, the flashbacks are played in a way that may confuse someone who is watching it. The movie portrays the flashbacks out of chronological order and makes the audience question if something they watched earlier has even happened yet, in that specific scene.

Overall, I think this movie was a success. Despite some errors, confusing scenes, and the cliche casting moves (which somehow still managed to provide a well acted movie), I believe that this movie is one worth watching.
Rating: 7.45/10

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