Film Review: If I Stay

If I Stay

If I Stay is schmaltz aimed squarely at an adolescent audience. Needless  to say, fans of the novel the film is based on will eat up this offering.

Life changes in an instant for talented young musician Mia. When an accident puts her in a coma, Mia must decide whether to wake up, knowing her world has changed forever…

Based on Gayle Forman’s novel, If I Stay is a sentimental drama aimed at a female teenage audience. The film’s premise is fairly decent. There are shades of Sliding Doors, and other ‘what if’-based movies, to be found in the film’s plot.

If I Stay is sentimental teenage drama writ large. The question at the centre of the film is no doubt a formidable one. Screenwriter Shauna Cross and director R.J. Cutler ring out Mia’s decision as much as possible. If I Stay is certainly a tearjerker, with the filmmakers squeezing every drop of sentiment. The various interactions Mia has will doubtlessly set certain viewers off, depending on how much they identify with the particular relationship.

Protagonist Mia is a likeable character. There is something ordinary about her, despite her talent, that Cutler has succeeded in capturing. Mia is not so out of touch that the films target demographic will not be able to identify with her. Chloë Grace Moretz delivers a good performance as Mia. She is believable as a young girl in love, yet determined in her musical talent. Jamie Blackley is well cast as the young rock star, although he falters in some of the film’s more dramatic moments. Mireille Enos is decent as Mia’s mother.

The main issue with If I Stay is that the script is so cloying, more cynical viewers will be hard pressed not to guffaw at certain moments. Every other utterance appears to be oozing with sentiment or heartfelt advice. The film would be more palatable to a wider audience if the dialogue was more genuine. Nevertheless, for those looking for a tearjerker, If I Stay is just the ticket.

Stuff To Look At

A treasure trove of film-related goodness this week, including X-Men: Days of Future Past, Edge of Tomorrow and Godzilla

X-Men Days of Future Past

Here is a new featurette for the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past. Wolverine is one of a host of characters returning from the original X-Men film series. X-Men: Days of Future Past is released in UK cinemas on 22nd May 2014.

Love, Rosie

Above is a teaser trailer for new comedy Love, Rosie. Starring Lily Collins and Sam Claflin, the film centres on the friendship of Rosie and Alex who go and study in the US together. Love, Rose is scheduled for release in October 2014.

Godzilla

Show us Godzilla! Listening to director Gareth Edwards talk about the monster in his upcoming blockbuster makes me all the more eager to see it. Godzilla hits the big screen on 15th May 2014.

Boyhood

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is something rather extraordinary. A fictional film made with the same group of actors over a twelve year period, Boyhood is certainly something to look out for. The film is released on 11th July 2014.

Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow Poster

Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt star in action adventure Edge of Tomorrow. The film seems like it fits into both Cruise and Blunt’s fairly recent predilection for science fiction. Edge of Tomorrow is released in UK cinemas on 30th May 2014.

22 Jump Street

As silly as it is, I am not going to deny that I laughed at this clip. 21 Jump Street was a very entertaining picture, so I am hoping that its sequel will deliver more of the same. 22 Jump Street is released in UK cinemas on 6th June 2014.

In Secret

Here is a clip from upcoming period drama In Secret. Set in 1860s Paris, the film stars Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Felton and Oscar Isaac. An adaption of Zola’s classic Thérèse Raquin, In Secret hits cinemas on 16th May 2014.

If I Stay

If I Stay is a romantic drama starring Chloe Grace Moretz. The film is based on the 2009 novel of the same name. I am not familiar with it, but I presume it is popular with the kids. If I Stay is due for release later this year.

The Wind Rises

Hayao Miyazaki’s farewell picture is a wonderful ode to dreaming. The Wind Rises continues Studio Ghibli’s tradition for superb animation. The film is released on 9th May 2014.