If I Stay Review
And why, exactly, would you want to go?!
Hot on the tail of the far more engaging The Fault in Our Stars, this latest novel-based romantic drama aims for a more music-centric approach in its dissection of dalliances with death and reflections upon life.With an unfathomably, and unconvincingly glamorous Chloe Grace Moretz taking centre-stage as the largely ignored classical cellist teenage prodigy whose life is turned upside down by an unexpected disaster, immediately If I Stay struggles to keep you invested in the plight of its characters.The premise is simple – Moretz’s musical genius is awaiting the result of an audition for Julliard when fate lands her a blow that leaves her at death’s door. Stuck in a coma, she is forced to look back on her life and figure out whether she has anything left to live for.
Frustratingly, for the audience, this immediately raises questions over why the filmmakers expect us to be in the least bit interested in what somebody whose life is so unquestionably rich - in terms of family and friends; love and musical talents - could deign to question she could possibly have left to live for.
Had this been a movie about a parent who lost their child, and was stuck in a coma trying to figure out whether to join their loved one at the pearly gates or come back to the emptiness of middle-aged monotony, the film might have more readily struck a chord. Still, thankfully, and more literally, the movie does strike a chord with its music, bringing us a far more endearing portrayal of two lovers from different musical universes, whose separate successes threaten to tear them apart.
If I Stay offers up a extraordinarily gifted and much-loved character who doesn't have any reason not to stay.
Moretz’s sparring partner, Jamie Blakely, is far more convincing, and the supporting cast do their best. Indeed so does Moretz, despite the fact that she not only looks utterly out of place, but is also playing a character nobody can really get behind. If I Stay doesn’t have anywhere near the weight of The Fault in Our Stars, and instead treads in predictable cliché and familiar formula whilst wearing our patience with a character so patently extraordinary that the commonalities with the misfortunes that the rest of the human race might suffer in equivalent, seem leagues apart.
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