If I Stay

based on If I Stay by Gayle Forman;
directed by R.J. Cutler;
screenplay by Shauna Cross;
starring Chloë Grace Moretz (Mia) and Jamie Blackley (Adam);
view full cast and crew →

movie website | the bookIMDb

Life changes in an instant for young Mia Hall after a car accident puts her in a coma. During an out-of-body experience, she must decide whether to wake up and live a life far different than she had imagined.

THE MOVIE (movies)

Again, Dyan and I went out to watch If I Stay. We actually planned on watching last week, but homework got in the way. But I’ll be doing this review solo. Let’s get to it!

I was really anticipating watching If I Stay. Left and right, people have been telling me how emotionally powerful and gripping the movie was, and how hard they swooned for Adam and Mia, so of course I had to see what the fuss was about! But the thing is, I was actually really disappointed with the movie.

I was expecting to feel so much more than I did.

I already had my handkerchief ready and everything! I didn’t even get to use it, which was horrible. The only time I slightly teared up was by the end with Adam’s if-you-stay speech. (Because damn, I loved that scene in the book.) I don’t know–it might have been the lack of development/time with the characters, so I couldn’t bring myself to care about them.

I didn’t even swoon. NOW WAIT, HOLD UP THOSE TOMATOES, FRIENDS. It was the instalove, okay? I cannot handle those, even in 2-hour movies. No, just no. Dyan and I couldn’t stop cringing throughout the first half of the movie. Neither of us deal with instalove well.

I liked the supporting characters more than the main ones.

Adam, Mia and Kim being goofy.

Yes, Chloe Moretz is gorgeous, and she definitely felt like she was Mia. Her voice’s a little… too young-sounding–you know what I mean? I guess that’s why I was detached to her character.

I was excited to see Jamie’s dramatic acting, since I’ve been told it was just superb. While I did feel really bad for him during the hospital scenes, I didn’t fall for Jamie’s character. I wanted to kick Adam in the shins most of the time, actually.

I really liked Kim (Liana Liberato) and Mia’s mom (Mireille Enos). Kim was such a supportive, realistic and fun friend. Mia’s mom was just super endearing and I wanted to hug her so bad! 

As a book-to-movie, it was good.

Of course, books will have some major and minor changes when they’re turning it into a movie. Overall, I didn’t really notice the changes that were made, but I wanted to have the backstories for characters like Kim and Willow which they didn’t have in the movie. I couldn’t even remember who Willow was until the last few minutes of the movie.

Overall, I’m just indifferent to the movie.

Was it my overly high expectations, or was the movie just bad? I don’t know. Let me know what you guys thought! Did you love the movie, or were you indifferent to it as I was?

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Skulls 2

2 skulls

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THE TRAILER (movies)

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About Aimee

Aimee loves being a little bookworm (okay–she doesn’t like being little). She also loves chocolates and sweets but is freaked out by the thought of possibly getting diabetes.

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagramall of Aimee’s posts →

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17 thoughts on “Movie Review: If I Stay

  1. To be honest, I didn’t like the book that much at all so I’m not that enthusiastic with the movie either. However, I really like Mia’s friendship with Kim and her close relationship with her family. I think this is the only reason why I didn’t DNF this book. Willow, I don’t remember her too. Is she the nurse-friend of her family?

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  2. Oh I’m so sorry that you didn’t enjoy the film as much as you’d expected Aimee. I hate it when you’re expecting all the feels, but you’re left feeling indifferent instead. I had forgotten so much from when I first read the book a few years ago, but I think the movie did a great job in staying similar to the book. However I didn’t know who Willow was until the very end either. Thank you for your honest recap Aimee! :)

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  3. I love you and this review!!! I watched this movie with two friends on Friday night, one who’s read the book and one who hadn’t. I’d read the book myself. They were both emotionally gripped by it, but I didn’t really feel much.
    I didn’t fall for Adam either. I’m so happy to know that I’m not the only one who cringed through the instalove as well!! I didn’t connect to Chloe as Mia, too.
    I had high expectations because I loved the book so much, but I left disappointed. Like you, I was expecting to feel much more than I did.
    However, also like you, I loved Kim and Mia’s mom in the movie, who I loved in the books as well! I really wanted to see Kim and Willow’s back stories, too, as they were in the book.
    I teared up only when she was talking about Teddy never getting to do all those things, but that was because it made me cry so hard when I was reading the book.
    Thank you for your honest review! This is what I couldn’t say to my friends because they were swooning and crying, but I didn’t feel the same emotions.

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  4. Yargle, yargle, bleh…. SO not a fan of the instalove. It creeps me out how these guys go from being indifferent to each other, to ready to lay their lives down for a 2 day old relationship, instantaneously. Hoping like heck it’s less of a factor in the book than you say it is in the film. I can take or leave seeing the movie… but I haven’t yet read the book, and feel like I’d be missing out, bigtime, if I skipped this one. Might actually watch catch movie when it’s on dvd, since Mireille Enos is wonderful, and I do like the main actress (even though her squeaky little voice irks me, too). Either way, at least now if I see the film I’ve read your review, so won’t go expecting automatic tear-jerker, since everything I’ve read before your review was a rave. So, at the very least, you’ve helped a bunch of us manage our expectations. Not much worse than expecting something will be phenomenal, then walking out with that lackluster feeling, afterward. ;) Thanks so much for your unbiased review.

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  5. Oh no, I’m sad you didn’t quite enjoy it as I did! But I think I can understand your sentiments. I have to admit, the romance really wasn’t the best aspect of the movie. I personally wouldn’t say it was instalove though because Mia’s memories are snippets of how her relationship with Adam unravelled. I do think that the way it was shown in the movie wasn’t quite as effective as in the book though.

    However, despite the fact that the romance in the movie still wasn’t as appealing as in the novel, I think Jamie and Chloe still did a good job as their characters. (Haha, I laughed when you said you wanted to kick Adam in the shins because I kinda felt like physically hurting him in one part too. But gosh, I loved how Jamie embodied his musician-ness. LOL.) Anyway, I totally agree about liking the supporting characters more. I LOVED Mia’s parents. They made the movie much more about family instead of romance for me, really. I couldn’t help but shed some tears. I guess that’s just me though. :D Anyway, sorry for rambling off! I’m just happy to discuss the movie with someone although our opinions aren’t exactly the same.

    Lovely movie review, Aimee!

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  6. I haven’t seen If I Stay nor do I have any plans on seeing it. I loved the book but the first time I saw the trailer, I wasn’t feeling it. Also, when I saw the car crash scene in the trailer I was like” why the heck there was no blood?!” lol.

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  7. Oh no! I’m really sad you didn’t like this movie! I LOVED the book and I was really looking forward to this movie but I’m definitely a bit more hesitant to go see it after reading this review.. especially since I loved Adam in the book SO much. I guess I’ll just have to see it to see how I feel about it!! Lovely movie review :)

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  8. I want to watch it, because that trailer really triggered some tears in my eyes, and I want to be able to cry in a movie haha. But then, there’s something about Chloe that bugs me, and I don’t know why. It’s that voice of hers, but the movie looks really promising, and I don’t want to be disappointed. At least I don’t have a choice; I am so busy these days I can’t even go watch a movie at all.

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  9. To be honest, this is pretty much exactly how I felt about the book so I’ve been dubious about seeing the movie in the first place anyway; but after reading your review I’m probably just going to skip it altogether.

    It’s always difficult when you aren’t able to fall for the love interest and when the MC doesn’t seem authentic, so I’m sorry to hear you felt that way. :( And the fact that you liked the supporting characters more than the MC? That’s really saying something!

    Sorry this was such a disappointment Aimee. :( Hopefully the next book to movie adaption will be better for you! <3

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  10. I’m not a crier, so I can’t say that I’m horribly disappointed that you didn’t have to use your tissue, however I can understand why this movie was a let down when you went in expecting to need a whole box. It comes with being a book blogger I’m afraid, the film adaptation just never lives up to the words on the page. At least they did a good job overall even though it wasn’t all that you’d hoped it would be.

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  11. Oh dear. I haven’t watched the movie yet so I can’t say anything but when it’s THAT disappointing for you.. I don’t think I’ll like it either. But still.. here’s to hoping it’s not so bad.

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  12. That’s such a shame that it wasn’t what you were expecting girls, I can imagine I might feel the same. The book was really emotional (I only teared up during his speech as well), but the actors look all wrong for me. Far too young. I loved the book, so I’m probably not going to bother going to see this. I enjoyed VA too, but the movie? It’s ruined me for the rest of the series, so I’d rather not spoil this one too. Great wrap up Aimee <3

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  13. Oh, I was expecting it to be as emotional as TFIOS, but sounds like you failed to connect with Chloe’s acting, which is a shame. I’m glad that it stuck to the book nonetheless. I don’t know if I’ll see it in the cinemas yet. Great review Aimee!

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