August 22, 2014 Leave a comment
Nutshell: I’d give If I Stay an A-. This is a movie that pulls all the right strings at all the right times. Yeah it’s in your face about it, but the story and it’s actors suck you in so totally that you won’t mind. Mia’s parents are a bit too perfect but that’s cool. Isn’t Gen X just the best anyway?
Being a teenager is rough. Ask any John Hughes film, or just pick up any of the zillion YA novels that have taken the world by storm of late. But for proud cello geek Mia (Chloë Grace Moretz), it’s about to get much rougher. Her beautiful but taken-for-granted world is about to be shattered as a car accident destroys her family, and leaves her in a coma. Will she have the strength to live and try to achieve her dreams after tragedy, or will she let herself slip away?
What I loved most about this story is the idea of family, and while the nuclear bit is important, family is so much more than the sum of your parents and any siblings you may have. It’s grandparents, aunts, uncles, “aunts”, “uncles”, BFFs, significant others. All the people that touch your life. Mia’s struggle is compounded when she has to decide to add these connections to the mix, and the many, many flashbacks show exactly how beautifully messy her life is. The cherry on top of that particular sundae is Adam (Jamie Blackley, The Fifth Estate), Mia’s rocker boyfriend, whose band is just beginning to get noticed. As Mia lies in a hospital bed after the accident — her “spirit” an insubstantial but aware part of her surroundings — family members come and go, and Adam tries desperately to see her. Cue the scenes of their meeting, their courtship, and their current difficulties!