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If I Stay

If I Stay

In Theatres: 
Aug 22, 2014
Running Time: 
1 Hour, 46 Minutes
I had my doubts about If I Stay. The trailer reads like a Nicholas Sparks formulaic film. Two teens from different worlds fall and into an epic love when sudden tragedy strikes and through many, many tears,  tough choices must be made. The only thing that peaked my interest was the very talented  Chloë Grace Moretz starring in the lead role of Mia Hall and truly, I was rewarded. 
While, yes, it is true that Mia and Adam (Jamie Blackley) are two teens from different worlds who fall into the love of their young lives, tragedy does strike, and tough choices are made, If I Stay actually convinces you to care.  Director R.J. Cutler takes the bones of the story and makes sure the everyone of the distinct characters is layered with their own interests, ambitions, and distinguishable personalities. 
The action takes place around conservative, classically trained cellist, Mia as she awaits word from Juilliard, her chosen school. Shocked when local rocker god, Adam, shows an unwavering interest in her more introverted personality; shared passions bring them together allowing them to have common ground while remaining very different people. Unlike recent teen love stories, Mia and Adam have lives and ambitions outside of the other’s pants. The relationship, explored through a series of flashbacks, feels very natural, with a high amount of kissing that will make book fans swoon. 
When Mia’s family is involved in a very serious collision leaving Mia comatose, the memories and concern shown by friends and family share aren’t the treacle you’d expect, but actually touching. The strength of this film is its incredibly talented cast that includes Mireille Enos, Stacy Keach, Joshua Leonard and the character driven storytelling. If there was any doubt as to Moretz’s ability to open a film, If I Stay should dash them all. 
I can only hope If I Stay will start a trend of quality romance starring teens who refrain from being annoying, are realistic, and interesting.
Maria Jackson
Review by Maria Jackson
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