News

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

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

Chloe Grace Moretz and Jamie Blackley star in a scene from "If I Stay."/2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

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 Election 2014, Local

We Ask, They Say Whatever They Want

Bruce Rauner (R), Pat Quinn

Quinn, Rauner have final debate; election is in two weeks

in Local

Scouts Hurt in Explosion

police_lights

Severity of burns in Raymond blast unclear

in Local

Springfield School District Still Focusing on Security

school board headquarters

Gill: School district taking on safety head-on

in Election 2014, Local

Grimm Polling Between 6 and 7 Percent in Governor’s Race Poll

chad_grimm

The Libertarian candidate for governor is getting 6 or 7 percent in public opinion polls, which is greater than the lead that Gov. Pat Quinn enjoys in recent polls.

in Local

Chicago Civil War Site Recognized

local_news_generic

The former site of a Civil War training and prisoner of war camp on the South Side of Chicago has received formal recognition.