Movie Review – If I Stay

Posted September 2, 2014 by Emz Chang in review / 0 Comments

If I Stay Movie Poster

 

TITLE: If I Stay
DIRECTOR: R.J. Cutler
STARRING: Chloë Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos, Jamie Blackley, Liana Liberato, and more
RUN TIME: 107 minutes
RATING: PG-13
ADAPTED FROM: If I Stay by Gayle Forman
SOURCES: Official Site of If I Stay and IMDb
RATING: 4.5 Stars


Mia Hall (Chloë Grace Moretz) thought the hardest decision she would ever face would be whether to pursue her musical dreams at Juilliard or follow a different path to be with the love of her life, Adam (Jamie Blackley). But what should have been a carefree family drive changes everything in an instant, and now her own life hangs in the balance. Caught between life and death for one revealing day, Mia has only one decision left, which will not only decide her future but her ultimate fate. “If I Stay” is based on the best-selling novel of the same name.


WARNING, THIS POST MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS OF IF I STAY BY GAYLE FORMAN. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

REVIEW: Before I start, I have to say that I am in no way a “professional” movie critic. This review is not really a judge of the acting or they way the film was made, but instead of how well the book was translated into a film. If I Stay is one of my favorite books of all time so of course I had mixed feelings about the fact it was made into a movie. But now, I’m kind of glad they did.

The movie stayed pretty true the book, not only with the events that take place, but also in the way that it was told – from Mia’s perspective and through flashbacks with a voice over from Chloë Grace Moretz. During Mia’s out of body experience, she didn’t really seem ghost like. She was still “solid” – no floating through things and such, but no one could really see or hear her. I also liked the way they did the flashbacks. They were still in color (not black and white), but still kind of obvious that they were from before the accident. Another thing I liked was the way everything was layered. One moment I was laughing and awing and the next I was left crying and feeling depressed. It alternated constantly. Which beats the other option – feeling happy for the first half and non stop crying during the second.

Most of the really important quotations are in the movie, but they did cut some short. I’m pretty sure they shortened Adam’s speech to Mia at the end which made me really disappointed, but all my other favorite lines were there. The movie basically played out the way it did in my head, though a few minor details were changed. For instance, instead of going to see Yo-Yo Ma in concert, Mia and Adam went to see some random cellist, which I guess makes sense. Speaking of playing the cello, I read somewhere that Chloë was taught how the play the cello before filming and it shows. I was really impressed with how she “played”. And don’t get me started on the music in the film. The soundtrack is epic. Epic.

I wouldn’t say If I Stay is the best movie I’ve seen this year, or even that it is one of the best book to movie adaptations, but I do think it was pretty good. I sincerely hope that it makes enough money for them to make Where She Went into a movie too…


Emz Chang

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