Stars: Chloe-Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos and Jamie Blackley
The highly anticipated film adaptation of Gayle Forman’s If I stay surpassed all expectations. But that doesn’t mean it’s perfect.
I absolutely adored the book and recently reviewed it here. To be honest I wasn’t anticipating the movie too much because I was convinced that no adaptation could impress me more than The Fault In Our Stars film but let me tell you. I was wrong. If I stay is phenomenal
Chloe-Grace Moretz is slaying it in the young-adult adaptation world. Her portrayal as Mia Hall in the film was acceptable however, in my opinion Mia’s character has an immense amount of depth and strong emotions. Chloe did an average job of being this emotional girl but it required more depth and she just wasn’t fully immersed in the role. But I have to say, she slayed that rock chic look. And I also wonder whether she can actually play the cello.
My first impression of James Blackley as Adam while I was watching the trailer for If I stay was: He’s too soft. I imagine Adam as this hard-core (but not too hard-core) guy with this laid back attitude. And Blackley did surprise me. Throughout the film he did a great job of being that hard-core guy especially while performing his musci but he was also this sweet guy. So great job James Blackley!
The rest of the casting was great, Mia with her ex punk rock parents and her grandparents with Teddy aw bless him. The film succeeded in capturing the close bonds in Mia’s family and I was feeling the feels when the turmoil hit.
One thing that did bug me was Adam and Mia’s relationship, It was adapted well for the most part with all the cute teenagery moments and what not but I was a bit confused about their break up. It didn’t even seem like a break up, it seemed like this fight that got interrupted by Mia’s accident and I’m not even exactly sure WHY they were breaking up. The film didn’t execute the break up to a satisfactory level I believe.
And what’s with Adam’s back story of being left behind by his parents? Pretty sure that wasn’t in the books but it did give insight into his nature and decisions so I’m cool with that.
As you may or may not know, Mia is a cellist and Adam is part of a band so music played a vital part in this film. The music choice was great. That is all I have to say for that, it was great. Mia’s cello pieces were on point and rejuvenated this love for classical music inside me and on the other hand Adam’s rock performances made his character stronger. I was a bit disappointed that Say Something didn’t appear throughout the film since it was in the trailer and would’ve blended in beautifully with the film oh!
With adaptations I understand that the film doesn’t follow the book word for word. For the most part I feel like this film stayed true to the book and what it represented, that you don’t take your family and friends for granted and you never know what’s gonna happen. This, I believe is a powerful message that was executed powerfully by the film.
I was a little skeptical of how the creators of the film would show the difference between present day and Mia’s memories since the book/film goes back and forth between present and past. Much to my surprise the present situation and Mia’s memories of past events were very distinguishable which made me very happy.
Okay so I am a rather picky person so bear with me but I would’ve liked to see a back story to most characters as is the case in the book. For example, the fact that Mia’s best friend Kim does not get along with her boyfriend Adam at the start and Mia is conflicted about this but during Mia’s accident they come closer as the circumstance calls for it. I thought little stories like this told from Mia’s perspective in the book connected me that much more to these minor characters. But you can’t have everything hey?
If I stay definitely impressed me in terms of movie adaptations and I know at some point in this blog post I sound like I’m complaining but really I’m just a picky person, I really did enjoy the film. Hoping to see the sequel in cinemas sometime soon!