If I Stay – Review


Sahar Sebghati, Review Editor

If I Stay, based on Gayle Forman’s popular Young Adult novel, is the story of high school senior Mia Hall (Chloë Grace Moretz). Mia is a cello prodigé whose biggest concern is choosing to stay in Oregon with her rocker boyfriend, or, pursue her musical dreams at Juilliard.

Mia’s world gets split in two, literally, when her family get into a car accident and she finds herself in a parallel universe between life and death. Mia must choose to stay in the real world, or die knowing nothing in her life will be the same again.

Although the plot of this movie seems like it would be refreshing, (how many movies are about teenage cellists who get to pick their fate?) If I Stay felt more like something seen hundreds of times before. The mysterious boy with dark hair who seems to own a plethora of leather jackets watches a shy girl, who of course doesn’t believe in love in high school, geek out in her element playing her instrument and as you can guess, its love at first sight.

Scene after scene director R.J. Cutler manipulated the audience by milking the vulnerability of the situation. To be frank, I don’t which was worse, her boyfriend singing her the song he wrote for her as she laid unconscious, or the nurse who seemed to always pop up in tense situations delivering line after line of eye roll worthy motivational speeches: “Heres the secret baby: if you live, if you die, it’s all up to you. So whatever fight you got in you, you gotta pull it out now.”

If I Stay slipped into the realm of gooey Young Adult romance. The job of bringing tears to the eyes of tween girls was successful, as demonstrated by the sounds of muffled sobs surrounding me.

For a “I have two hours to kill and I feel like crying” mood, this movie gets the job done. For those searching for a film whose content won’t make you hurl your popcorn from sappiness, look elsewhere.