Synopsis – Life changes in an instant for young Mia Hall after a car accident puts her in a coma. During an out-of-body experience, she must decide whether to wake up and live a life far different than she had imagined.The choice is hers if she can go on.
My Take – Back in July, when I first saw the trailer for this film, It looked really interesting, plus the presence of Chloe Graze Moretz (one fine actress) added to my curiosity, honestly I was expected something of a twisted drama from the eyes of teenager. Well now after watching this, Boy! was I disappointed! Don’t get me wrong I got nothing against teen romances, instead I root for them If done right (Spectacular Now, The Fault in our Stars), but this film seemed like a rehash of everything good out there! The films follows Mia (Chloe Grace Moretz), an 18 year old girl who plays cello & is into classical music unlike her Rocker parents & younger sibling, and while is also in up down relationship with a young rocker, Adam (Jamie Blackley). Then on a snowy day, her life is completely turned upside down when she & her family gets into a deadly car crash, sending her into a coma.
In this coma, she has an out of body experience in which she needs to decides either to die and go up to heaven or live with the physical and emotional repercussions, all while flashing back to the relationship she and Adam had. Well the movie is primarily made up of flashbacks to the relationship that Mia and Adam had, and the chemistry that the two of them share isn’t very strong and can be described as “meh” at best. The relationship between their two characters is all adorable and sort of fun for the first half of the movie. However, in the second half when their relationship slowly starts to go downhill, Adam becomes a jerk and is unlikeable and unreasonable, while Mia comes out as downright selfish. Also, with Adam and Mia’s relationship, something felt missing. Rather than true love, it felt like a typical high school relationship where the two people think they’re love, then someday breakup and later realize that they never actually were in love. Then all the other characters are either annoying or underdeveloped like her best friend Kim. Mia’s decision to stay or leave based off of a five minute speech that one character makes to her, feels really half baked based on the proceedings which led to that situation. While I do like happy endings, last shot cut could not have been better. However, I do have to say that with the route they chose, the last twenty minutes of the film were perfect. The music & Chloe Grace Moretz performance in this movie were probably the best part of the film. She has been always referred to as a one of the top actresses of the future, & this film just proves it. Moretz plays Mia Hall so well and so believable. I think she portrays the love and the actions of a teenage girl in love with great accuracy. Her on screen chemistry with Jaime Blackley was alright. He also performed great.
Mireille Enos & Joshua Leonard as Mia’s parents are very likable. The one exception to all this would be Mia’s grandfather, played by Stacy Keach, and he had one scene in particular (those who have seen the movie can probably guess what scene it was) was the among the most emotional scenes I have seen this year. On the whole, If I Stay is just another nothing new, nothing original, average teen romance movie, and it’s not even all that interesting. Its just an empty eye candy at running time 1h 40 min. It drags. The pacing is OK but the screenplay is so predictable, so one dimensional and cheesy that at moments i had my eyes rolling over the screen. Overall, for 14 years old girls this will do just fine, for all older i can say, you can safely skip this. It’s not a bad movie by any means, just unfortunately it’s very predictable, it has nothing new or exciting to offer and at running time 100 min. it drags and repeats itself – it has well intentions, but unfortunately it just doesn’t click & goes down as down right forgettable.
Director – R.J. Cutler
Rated – PG13
Run Time – 107 minutes