News

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

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

Photo: YouTube

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 Music

Dolly Parton teases new TV movie

Fresh
21-overlay14

They hadn't even started shooting the movie, but Dolly Parton had no trouble selling "Coat of Many Colors" to critics. The film, set to air Dec. 10 on NBC, is inspired by Parton's childhood.

in Entertainment

‘War Room’ Stuns With $11M, Zac Efron’s ‘We Are Your Friends’ Tanks

Fresh
20-overlay14

The box office underwent a religious conversion this weekend as Christian crowds flocked to "War Room," lifting the low-budget salute to prayer above the Zac Efron drama "We're You're Friends" and the Owen Wilson thriller "No Escape."

in Music

Swift leads winners but West, Cyrus rule the VMAs

Fresh
24-overlay8

Taylor Swift may have won the most Moonmans on Sunday but it was her reunion with rapper Kanye West on the MTV Video Music Awards stage that stole the show, as West declared he will run for the U.S. presidency in 2020.

in Entertainment

Prolific horror filmmaker Wes Craven dead

Fresh
19-overlay13

Craven, who was also behind the 1990s horror hit "Scream," died surrounded by his loved ones at his Los Angeles home after suffering from brain cancer.

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Aug. 31

JACKSON

A walk down Hollywood's memory lane.