These days there seems to be a new sappy book adaptation made into a movie left and right. Each one hopes to be that next break out hit, but most of them end up falling flat. The latest, If I Stay looks to bring a new twist to the genre with the inclusion of the afterlife into the love story and features Chloe Grace Moretz, Jamie Blackley, Mireille Enos, Joshua Leonard, and Stacy Keach, but is it worth checking out or should it have just went into the light?
If I Stay follows a young woman who thought the hardest decision she would ever face would be whether to pursue her musical dreams at Juilliard or follow a different path to be with the love of her life, but what should have been a carefree family drive changes everything in an instant, and now her own 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. While this film manages to deliver a decent story and features some good performances, it never can get too far out of that clichéd format of the genre. Moretz does a great job with her role bringing her usual innocent, uncomfortable mannerisms to the character, but allowing it to evolve in some extent as it moves forward. The Killings Mireille Enos and The Blair Witch Project’s Joshua Leonard bring some hip fun to their roles as her parents but don’t have as much to do as you might hope for. The film is crafted interestingly, but tends to drag on a bit too long and keeps taunting you at its ending numerous times. This would be fine had it really gone somewhere, but every time it seems to be ending it just jumps back into the story telling more of the same thing through a lot of the movie. Had it been trimmed down some it would have worked a lot better and been a lot more powerful. The longer you are sitting with this situation the more desensitized you start to become until the ending just doesn’t have the punch it needs.
This is not a bad film by any means, but tended to drag on too long and never could seem to let go and just wrap it up. By the time the end comes you already pretty much know what is going to happen whether you had read the book or not making the entire film feel almost pointless. This is sure to be a hit with those that have read the book and great date film, but may not have the strength to stand up to multiple viewings or to keep some viewers attention.