News

REVIEW: Adults, stay away from ‘If I Stay’

REVIEW: Adults, stay away from ‘If I Stay’

Photo: YouTube

Genre: Drama | Run Time: 106 min | Rated: PG-13
Director: R.J. Cutler | Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos, Jamie Blackley

By: George Wolf of Maddwolf.com

Is it just for the cash, or do the people behind these teen romance fantasies actually believe they are being profound?

The latest, If I Stay, starts with a teenager saying “you know how when you meet someone, and they just, already are the person they’re meant to be?”

Excuse me but no, I don’t, because that’s nothing close to reality, it’s a line of melodramatic crap written by an adult for a teenage audience they know will lap it up and feel like this movie really “gets them.”

The same formula was seen just weeks ago in The Fault in Our Stars, and If I Stay, also adapted from a popular young adult novel, is only too happy to follow it.

The latest teen girl who doesn’t fit in is Mia (Chloë Grace Moretz). She’s got hip, rockin’ parents, but Mia prefers classical cello, and feels awkward about her talent.

If only there were someone who could make Mia realize how special she’s been all along?

This time his name is Adam (Jamie Blackley), and he’s the supercool Senior who already fronts a popular local rock band. After one casual glance at Mia practicing, Adam is smitten and confidently proclaims “You can’t hide in the rehearsal room forever…I see you.”

He sees her! Oh happy day! Now her specialness can be revealed!

The added emotional manipulation…,er, I mean plot twist.. comes in the form of a car accident that puts Mia in a coma. As she leaves her physical body and watches family and friends react to the tragedy, Mia is able to reflect on her young life and decide if she wants to stay in this world.

Director R.J. Cutler and writer Shauna Cross can’t bring one ounce of authenticity to their film. Everything feels fake – from Adam’s band to Mia’s family to the hospital staff – and sadly, that includes Moretz. Though she has often shown real talent, here she plays down to the material with a completely uninspired performance.

The young adult audience is more than just tomorrow’s Nicholas Sparks fans, but you wouldn’t know it from what plays at the multiplex. Too often, those movies teach boys to trivialize adolescence and teach girls to wallow in its drama. Meanwhile, more honest films such as It Felt Like Love and Palo Alto struggle to get noticed.

Yeah, yeah, that’s Hollywood feeding the cash cow. I know it, but I don’t have to like it … or the maddening mess of a movie that is If I Stay.

Verdict-1-5-Stars

Read more reviews by George Wolf and Hope Madden on Maddwolf.com.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Ben Stiller back as dimwitted male model in ‘Zoolander 2′ trailer

Fresh
13-overlay1

The sequel to the 2001 comedy is still several months away but with one-liners like these, we can't wait.

in Entertainment

Jon Stewart prepares to sign off

15-overlay2

After 15 years, the comedian will bid farewell as he hosts his final "Daily Show."

in Entertainment

Tom Cruise’s ‘Rogue Nation’ dominates weekend box office

20-overlay

It's the third largest movie opening for Cruise, following the $64.9 million launch for 2004's "War of the Worlds" and $57.8 million for 2000's "Mission: Impossible 2."

in Viral Videos

Epic Pomeranian puppy sneeze

14-overlay2

There are worse ways you could spend a few seconds of your day.

in Music

Lynn Anderson dead at 67

14-overlay1

The Grammy-winning "Rose Garden" hitmaker is considered a pioneer for women in the genre.