Good teen romance/drama
If you’re looking for a teen romance tear jerker you will enjoy If I stay. If I Stay is a teen romance/ drama based off the book by Gayle Forman. It is directed by R.J. Cutler and stars Chloe Grace Mortez and Jamie Blackley. Staying true to the book, the movie goes back in time, showing the progression of Mia (Chloe Grace Mortez) and Adam’s (Jamie Blackley) relationship. Mia is a young cellist who meets rock star boyfriend Adam. Despite their obvious differences both appreciate the other’s passion for music.
Mia’s biggest decision is whether to go to Julliard after so auditions. This is until a tragic car accident that takes her family from her and sends her into a comatose state where she must decide whether to stay or go. A lot of her decisions are based around the fact she will wake up an orphan. Should she stay and be with her grandparents, friends, and Adam? Or should she leave to be with her family?
Overall the movie is good if you enjoy teen romance. It has the awkward girl and the cool popular guy together as an unlikely couple. Throughout the movie Mia faces challenges with who she should be. This is something most, if not all teenagers can relate to. Her relationship with Adam is intimate. Often, they find themselves in heated conversations as they struggle to find what path they should take in life. This only intensifies when Mia thinks of Julliard as a possibility.
This will put distance between the two and with Adam’s band’s growing popularity, they find it hard to hold onto their young relationship. The viewers can relate to most of this in some way or another as all of us have been in some type of relationship or have had to make the difficult decision on where we will go in life after high school. Chloe Grace Mortez is a successful actress who fits the part well as she was young when she took the role of Mia. Despite this, the interactions between Mia and Adam are awkward at times and almost forced. After a band gig Adam brings up Julliard and argues with Mia over the plans they had previously where they were going to move in together.
Even though their voices are raised, and it is obvious that it is a heated argument, Jamie Blackley doesn’t seem to have enough expression. The conversations between Mia and Adam are straight to the point and always escalate. So intense that it gives a feeling of temporariness and infatuation. There is no way to really take the relationship seriously because of how rushed it is and how it does not allow you to follow it and watch it grow.
This is a problem throughout the movie where he has the same facial expression no matter what he is talking about. With the other actors, Chloe Grace Mortez looks more convincing. Mia and her friends and family’s conversations are easy and full of inside jokes and an obvious connection. Watching Mia and Adams relationship is like observing as an outsider with no input. There is a lack of details that would have benefitted these characters.
The music in the movie fit well at some parts but not so much at others. In the scene where Adam is running to the hospital after hearing of the family’s car accident, the music is an almost upbeat melody. It is more of a comfortable song rather than one to make you feel the seriousness of the situation. Adding Tom Odell’s song, Heal was a good choice for an emotional moment at the end of the movie. The movie’s special effects were decent, although the car crash didn’t have enough gore for how serious it was. Lack of gruesome detail worked well for targeting younger audiences.
Although, some still argue that the car accident and intimate scenes between Adam and Mia are inappropriate for younger teens. The hospital scene where she chooses to go, she walks through the hospital hallway toward a door filled with warm light as it silhouettes her form. As she looks out the door the warm light touches her smiling face. You feel her peace and it was a beautiful scene that has been well executed. Overall this is a movie for teens, especially the ones that love a good tragic teen love story. If this is not your cup of tea, then If I stay is not the movie for you.