Strings and Spirit: An “If I Stay” Review

*Sigh* Another tearjerker movie. Why do I love torturing myself?
Based on Gayle Forman’s novel of the same name, If I Stay follows the love story of cello prodigy Mia Hall (Chloë Grace Moretz) and rising rock star Adam Wilde (Jamie Blackley). Mia and Adam were not in good terms when Mia gets involved in a tragic car accident, leaving her in coma. She goes through an out-of-body experience, and now Mia must decide whether she should cross-over, and stay for the ones she love.

If I Stay Trailer

If I Stay originally wasn’t in my list of must-see movies last week because I’m not fond of tearjerkers (you should know that by know, right?), and worse it’s a love story. Cheesy scenes make me cringe. Ugh.
I gave it a chance though since there weren’t really a lot of good options for me last week, plus some friends have told me that the book was pretty good, and it would just be a matter of the movie giving justice to it. I hesitantly bought my tickets and entered the cinema with my movie buddy, prepared to recoil at possible cheesy lines and wince at giggling fan girls. True enough, there were indeed more than a few dialogues that were too dreamy for my taste, and there were a couple of ladies who were snickering a bit more loudly than they should. However, in spite of my apprehension towards the film, as it progressed it actually turned out to be pretty engaging. Surprisingly, I liked it!
“OUTTA THE WAY!!!…Oh right, I’m a ghost”
“And then I told the family, we’re doing what we can..LOL”
The movie is a curious mix of YA romance, inspirational tones, and supernatural themes. What’s notable about this love story, is that it is being told through a combination of narration and a series of flashbacks set against several conflicts. While the romance is being narrated, we are anticipating that a tragedy would happen, triggering our curiosity and we end up wanting to find out how things are, between the two lovers before the accident. After the disaster, the narration of the love story continues, but this time we are given a new conflict to keep us hooked to the screen – Mia goes through an out-of-body experience and is torn between fighting for her life and crossing over. This time, the question that we ask ourselves is whether she would stay or leave. The film doesn’t just narrate to us what happens. As it tells the story, it gives us background scenarios to keep us engrossed the whole time.
I wasn’t wrong about it being a tearjerker. I have trained my tear glands not to give in so easily to weepie movies, but man this film’s such a heartbreaker that whatever machismo that’s still left in me gave in and my eyes started welling up. I made sure no one noticed, of course.
Another factor that spiced up the romance was the musical themes. Adam is a rocker while Mia plays the cello. Their choice of music became a metaphor to show how different they are, yet in spite of the difference in their choices of instruments, they still sounded good together. Their choice of music is what makes them unalike, yet it is also music that brought them together. Speaking of the leads, Chloë Grace Moretz and Jamie Blackley gave notable performances, although their charm only worked when they are together. Individually they felt a bit bland but together, some sort of spark happens and we see good chemistry.
I should be a rockstar

Puberty done right.

I rarely enjoy slow-paced, sappy movies but If I Stay turned out to be one of the few exceptions. You’d probably enjoy this if you’ve got a significant other but if you’re single like me, just prepare yourself for a whole night of depression and contemplation of why there are so many fish in the sea but you can’t get any.

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All the images and videos used in this post belong to “If I Stay” and/or to their respective owners. I do not own these materials. No copyright infringement intended



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