If I Stay: Film Review



Now I need to give credit where credit is due and If I Stay is not as terrible, sentimental and cheesy as it looks. Okay, it can be those things on occasions but it wasn’t by the bucketload and was balanced out by some great dialogue, music and acting by Chloe Grace Moretz.

Moretz plays Mia Hall, a student whose passion is the cello and feels like the outsider in her punk rock family. She is soon pursued by Adam, the lead singer in a band and they embark on a tumultuous relationship. The majority of their story is told through flashbacks as Mia is watching herself and her family be taken to hospital following a major car accident. Mia has to decide whether she wants to pull through or let go.


To be honest, I didn’t like the premise purely because given the nature of the film and its audience, she was inevitably going to stay. I would have kept it the same as it is but leave out the battle of staying/leaving. However, the film cannot be purely blamed for this – it is based on the book by Gayle Forman, which I have not read. While the abrupt ending did not put me off the entire movie, I wish we had seen more of her life following the accident.

Moretz is brilliant in this because she is in quite an intense relationship for such a young person. I loved her conversations with her pal Kim (Liana Liberato), her interactions with her parents (they are fantastic and steal every scene) and her arguments with Adam (Jamie Blackley). Some of their talks are great but damn, that boy was lumped with all the cheesy lines. His words made my eyes roll at times but this are so infrequent that it didn’t ruin it.


Inevitably, it is quite sad given the subject matter but I was amazed how tragic her situation becomes. Not everybody’s tears affected me. Especially Adam’s because he was a bit of a douchebag by this point. Her grandfather (Stacey Keach) is the one that brought tears to my eyes, which I was not expecting. I didn’t think I would be pulled in by this film but I did.

All in all, there was much more to this than I imagined and the trailer does not do it justice. If you like a romantic drama, this is up your alley whether you’re a teen or not. Moretz displays a range of emotions, she has great chemistry with Blackley and some of the dialogue is fantastic. I also want to mention the music in this movie – it is great! The only downsides were some cheese lines, it slightly dragged towards the end and I would have liked more after the ‘if I stay’ reveal.


Released: 29th August

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