Thursday, August 20, 2015

If I Stay (2014)

Number Rolled: 100
Movie Name/Year: If I Stay (2014)
Tagline: Live for love.
Genre: Drama
Length: 106 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: DiNovi Pictures, MGM, New Line Cinema
Executive Producer: Denise Di Novi, Gayle Forman, Brad Can Arragon
Director: R.J. Cutler
Writer: Shauna Cross, Gayle Forman
Actors: Chloe Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos, Jamie Blackley, Joshua Leonard, Liana Liberato, Stacy Keach, Gabrielle Rose, Jakob Davies, Ali Miner, Aisha Hinds, Lauren Lee Smith

Mia has her whole life planned out. Even when she meets a boy that threatens her ultimate plan, she stays on course. A sudden and tragic car accident, however, leaves her fighting for her life.

Selina’s Point of View:
Chloe Grace Moretz (Laggies, Kick Ass, Carrie) is an amazing actress. She transforms her roles until they fit her. Even a depth-less character becomes something special when she performs.

She is the reason I wanted to see this movie so badly. Sure, the concept was intriguing… but it was Chloe that really made me want to watch.

I can’t say it was entertaining, but it wasn’t really supposed to be. The point of the film was to trigger emotions on a deeper level than your generic drama. Unfortunately, I didn’t really think it worked. It was like sadness for sadness sake, very little storyline other than what you pick up in the trailer. In fact, I feel like this is my second time watching the film because the trailer left very little in question. I even knew the ending within minutes of the movie’s start.

The actors did great with their parts, but great actors can’t really help a bad adaptation. If I Stay should have remained a book. I haven’t read it, but I’m almost positive it would be the better platform for telling this story.

Cat’s Point of View:
I have wanted to see this film since the trailers first aired for it. The story seemed compelling and tragic – with just enough hope. The few moments of the teasers made me misty; I knew I was in for a roller-coaster.

ChloĆ« Grace Moretz (Let Me In, Dark Shadows, Hugo) is a joy to watch, especially when her heart is breaking right on the screen for you. She pulls you in with her as the girl lost in her music, and rips your heart out with the decision she has to face.  From vigilante to victim, I have enjoyed watching her career blossom.

The film does an excellent job of endearing this family to you. The Halls are the kind of laid back parents that everyone wishes they had. Their surprise, sacrifice, and support are all put together in a masterful puzzle. Mireille Enos (World War Z, Sabotage, The Captive) and Joshua Leonard (The Town that Dreaded Sundown, 6 Years, The Ever After) were brilliant in their supporting roles.

I think Stacy Keach (The Boxer, The Portal, Planes) was the tipping point for me, though. I was a little sniffly before his key scene, but afterwards I think I was all out bawling.

If I’m being fair, however, I have to note that the whole movie wasn’t squeezing my heart for tears, only most of it. There were some lighter moments within the interaction between Mia and Adam, played by Jamie Blackley (Vinyl, The Fifth Estate, Irrational Man), that were warm and even funny.

Fans of Stephen King’s Under the Dome (2013-) might recognize one of the nurses in this film. Aisha Hinds (Lost Dream, Unstoppable, Beyond the Lights) was a pleasant surprise, here.

I loved this movie in spite of it holding a mosh pit on my emotions. This one is probably going into my collection in the “Wall-o-Movies” at my house. I would recommend it; and also bringing plenty of tissue when you watch it.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 36%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 62%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4.7/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score2.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

P.S. This movie was based on a book, “If I Stay” by Gayle Forman. However, there’s a second novel told from Adam’s perspective: “Where She Went” by the same author.

Movie Trailer:

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