Movie Review: If I Stay


Second movie review. Let’s see how I do.

Life changes in an instant for young Mia Hall after a car accident puts her in a coma. During an out-of-body experience, she must decide whether to wake up and live a life far different than she had imagined.

Hopefully you’ve read or plan to read the book. If not, be ashamed. Reading is awesome.

I’m so bad at reviewing movies it’s not even funny. My ratings range from gross, fine, alright, good, fabulous. The middle three are paired with a shrug and some um-ing, but that’s just how life works. I know no movie terminology or have any background that makes me creditable in the remotest way.

So let’s get cracking!

First off, I’d like to start by saying my book review of If I Stay will be posted Thursday. And here’s a sneak peek: the book is entirely too short.

Alright, back to movie. I was super excited for it because I knew it would draw out the book more and make me feel more emotion. I don’t know if it really lived up to that standard. I’m warning you guys now, there will be minor spoilers.

I don’t cry during movies, but my eyes felt some prickling and my jaw certainly clenched in some parts. But I had high hopes that the beginning car crash would rip my soul apart, and it didn’t. First and foremost, the music was still playing when the car crashed in the book, which is very powerful, but they didn’t put that in the movie! I think the image of the crash would have been enhanced if Mia walked around in the eerie calm she did in the book. Instead, she freaked out, but not enough to portray her whole family got in a car crash and she wasn’t sure if they were dead or alive. The opening scene had the potential to be much more heart-wrenching then it was.

Besides that, I enjoyed the rest of the movie. I could be really nit-picky and point out every part that they changed for the worst, but I won’t bore you guys with those details. Instead, I’ll just rave about the beauty of the film.

It flickers back and forth between Mia’s present condition of a coma to her past experiences with her family and music and boyfriend. She plays the cello, her parents are punk rockers, and her boyfriend is the lead guitarist in a rock band, so music pretty much controls their lives. It’s beautifully illustrated the way Mia and Adam (her boyfriend) blend their different music and personalities together in a way that works for them. Same with her parents. She doesn’t have a sob story or anything; everything is pretty much normal with a supportive family and mostly happy life.

It may sound boring to watch a perfectly content teenage girl deal with petty problems in these flashbacks like a fight with her boyfriend or applying to college, but it contrasts nicely with the horror that’s happening in the hospital. The viewers feel the joy of each situation, and when it flashes back to the hospital, they are that much more upset about Mia and her family.

Now, they did change things from the book. For instance (*major spoiler*), her dad died immediately in the book, and she saw his brains smeared across the concrete. How’s that for heart-breaking? But in the movie, the paramedics wheeled him into the hospital and failed to save him. That is the biggest discrepancy, but there are other changes made that both bolstered and diminished the story.

The movie is both heart warming and breaking between the flashbacks and the present situation. Everything is wonderfully portrayed on screen, though there are some details that are different between the book and movie. It’s never boring, and it doesn’t feel overly long or short. I highly recommend seeing it. My friend actually liked the movie better than the book, but I’m still team print for this one.

3.5 Stars




One thought on “Movie Review: If I Stay

  1. Pingback: Movie Review: The Maze Runner | Stealing Pages

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