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If I Stay


IF I STAY is based on the best-selling novel of the same name, and follows the story of High School teen, and cello prodigy Mia Hall (Chloë Grace Moretz) . When we meet her, the hardest decision she faces is whether to pursue her musical dreams at Juilliard or follow a different path to be with the love of her life, Adam (Jamie Blackley). But what should have been a carefree family drive changes everything in an instant, and now her life hangs in the balance. Caught between life and death for one revealing day, Mia has only one decision left, which will not only decide her future but her ultimate fate. 

Overtly sentimental, the cheese factor is at an all time high here – but despite this, the film still packs an emotional punch. Embarrassingly I found myself with tears streaming down my face a fair few times!

Director Cutler flows beautifully between the present and the past, to tell the love connection of Mia's family, music and friends in her life. However, with all the soft focus and kissing, the life-or-death urgency is somewhat under played, and the usually flawless Chloë Grace Moretz is a little unbelievable in the some of the bigger dramatic scenes. For me, it isn’t the lovers (although Brit Jamie Blackley makes a lovely young leading man), but the Hall family that give this movie any weight. The Killing’s Mirelle Enos as Mia’s mum Kat, and Joshua Leonard as her dad Denny steal the film with warm, fully realised quirky characters that I fell in love with, and rooted for.

In fairness, what could have been a very predictable film, I was in fact left guessing how it would actually end, and for it’s flaws, If I Stay is very watchable. Let’s be honest, I am hardly the target audience – and I imagine that the tween/teens out there will fall in love with this film, and ensure that it does very well at the box office this opening weekend.

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UK Release Date: 
Friday, August 29, 2014
USA Release Date: 
Wednesday, August 27, 2014