‘If I Stay’
By Lexia Banks
Let’s start with a disclaimer: I have not read the book “If I Stay.”
Now for the film: it was awful.
“If I Stay” stars Chloë Grace Moretz as Mia Hall, a quiet high school girl.
Mia’s life is full of music. Her dad was in a band. Her mom was a professional groupie.
Their love of rock is firmly instilled in Mia’s little brother, Teddy.
Even her boyfriend, Adam, is a rock star whose band is growing in popularity and taking over the Portland music scene.
But the rocker gene skipped Mia. She developed a love of classical music and is, in fact, a talented cellist.
Then a car crash thrusts Mia into an out-of-body experience. And as she slowly loses everything she holds close, Mia must make the decision to stay or go.
It’s an interesting story concept but is poorly adapted for the big screen.
The majority of the film is shown through flashbacks. Every few minutes the audience is tossed back in time and then sloppily thrown back into the present in a way that leaves us confused.
The audience loses a lot of the importance of what’s happening in the present. It takes away from the intensity and drama of the situation.
A majority of the flashbacks are all about Adam. We become lost in Mia’s romance with Adam.
The film becomes more and more about their relationship and less about the tragedy occurring while her body is in a coma.
Characterizations were poor.
Mia was yet another weak female character who constantly doubted and conformed herself to meet her boyfriend’s ideals. Ultimately, even her final decision came down to what he wanted.
Adam, played by Jamie Blackley, was a stereotypical tall, dark and handsome guy with a troubled past. He was poetic, mysterious, whiny and tragically shallow and boring.
The best character was the grandpa, and he only had six lines.
The acting was not impressive. Moretz had her moments, but overall her performance wasn’t selling the role of a girl losing her family and possibly her own life.
There was an overwhelming hipster vibe to the production.
Lots of scenic snowy, rainy landscapes, flashes of pastels and a tacky budding romance montage with handheld camera work complete with a working gag reflex.
All in all, “If I Stay” was basically “Twilight” but with music instead of vampires.