Title: If I Stay
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: R.J. Cutler
Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Jamie Blackley, Mireille Enos
Runtime: 1 hr 46 mins
What It Is: Mia Hall is a gifted celloist who idolizes Yo Yo Ma, and lives with her reformed rockstar Dad and retired Riot Grrl mother (Enos) in suburban Portland, Oregon. One day a life altering accident occurs, and it’s left Mia’s life in the balance.As she fights for dear life we’re are treated to flashbacks of the last two years of Mia’s life including her relationship rocker Adam (Blackley) and her ascension to probable enrollment in the Juilliard. She’s had plenty going for her over the last bit of her existance so far. So the question is as The Clash would put it should she stay or should she go?
What We Think: It’s a tough watch for two reasons. One the movie is manipulative and stuff occurs for no other reason then to make you cry. Some may enjoy that, but for this writer thats a put off. Don’t just let the stuff hit the fan for the sake of a good cry. This tried to do what The Fault in Our Stars built organically through it’s better direction and storytelling. Chloe Grace Moretz really tries to pull this material from the concaved depth of it’s very badness. I think she’s a very talented actress and is above this material. In fact one of my favorite parts of the film is the music from Adam’s band which I thought was very catchy. I also really liked the Portland setting as it worked with the Hall’s hipsters with kids vibe.
Our Grade: D+, It doesn’t break the mold it merely carbon copies better YA romances. It’s manipulative to a fault as mentioned above. Still, it has a wonderful cast that are really trying to overcome all the things thrown at them by Cutler whom is normally a documentary director (and a good one at that!) nonetheless he seems to be fumbling through his first narrative. We’ll see what he does next which will be interesting to see. At least I hope it’s better than this. If I Stay made me want to go into the white light with its depressing setting, and psuedo sci-fi premise.