Review: ‘If I Stay’ will keep you staying to the credits

Most teenagers are faced with simple decisions, such as what to have for lunch or what to wear to school. This is not the case for Mia Hall, who is forced to make a decision that will ultimately determine not only her future, but also her fate.

R.J. Cutler’s new film “If I Stay” is a blend of mystery, thriller, and romance. I loved this movie because of its unique take on the life of a seemingly ordinary girl.

As the film takes off, it provides the audience with a full biography of Mia’s life in Portland, Oregon. However, as the drama escalates, the storyline is filled with an unexpected turn of events.

Mia Hall (Chloë Grace Moretz), the film’s the protagonist, introduces herself as a quiet and intelligent young teenager who has a passion for music, especially for playing the cello. Her love for classical music draws a handsome young band member named Adam (Jamie Blackley) into asking her out to a cello concert. He is initially intrigued by her independent demeanor, provoking their chemistry to evolve into something greater.

Their love story steadily progresses until Mia is faced with the decision whether to attend her dream college, Julliard, or stay with the love of her life in Oregon. This decision is recurring in several films, including “The Notebook” by Nick Cassavetes.

The audience falls into the spell of thinking this is the climax of the storyline. However, a plot twist shakes up everything in Mia’s life. While on a drive with her family, Mia gets into a car accident that changes her life forever. She goes into an out-of-body experience and remains in purgatory.

The heart of this film centers around Mia’s decision whether to live with the absence of her family who dies during the car crash, or to go on to heaven and live with her departed loved ones.

The charming Chloë Grace Moretz flawlessly portrays the main character in this film. Her thoughtful portrayal brings the audience into the film, making it a very surreal experience. Jamie Blackley, who stars as Adam, also demonstrates an outstanding performance. Moretz and Blackley are the perfect duo for this film because they demonstrate their talent as young aspiring actors, especially through their romance.

Overall, the film is unique and thought provoking, not to mention appropriate for the entire family. If you can make it to the theaters any time soon, I strongly recommend it because this film is a dime.

Grade: B
Rating: PG-13
Length: 1 hr 46 min.
Genre: Drama
Director: R.J. Cutler
Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Jamie Blackley, Mireille Enos, Liana Liberato, Joshua Leonard.