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REVIEW — “If I Stay”


If I Stay is based on the young adult novel by Gayle Forman. Mia Hall (Chloe Mortez) is a young gifted cellist with her whole life ahead of her. However an unfortunate car crash results in the death of her parent and brother, leaving her in a coma and the sole survivor of her family. Even though she is in a coma, her spirit is able to roam the halls of the hospital and eavesdrop on the conversations of her loved ones. Though a combination of these conversations and flashbacks, Mia grapples with the tough decision of following her family into death or staying with the love of her life, Adam (Jamie Blackley).

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Mia and Adam have great chemistry and their love story is sweet. He’s the coolest rocker in school and she’s a wallflower with a passion for Beethoven. It sounds cheesy (and it is) but it’s still fun to watch.  However as their relationship develops, their attraction to one another seems just a little too distressed for my taste. I understand that expecting a teenage love affair to be void of angst is a tall order and lots people like their romance with a heavy dose of desperation and longing. But I’m not about that life.


The best part about If I Stay is the soundtrack. The film features music by Artists like Beck and Sonic Youth and many surprisingly catchy original songs by Adam’s band, Williamette Stone. Both Mia and Adam are young, in love and lead musically centered lives that are polar opposites at times and the delightful soundtrack reflects that perfectly.

I wouldn’t be a girl if I didn’t mention the really cute clothes. I kept turning to my friend to tell her how much I needed the outfit I was looking at. And Portland looks absolutely delicious in every scene. It almost made me want to move to Portland to acquire a whole new wardrobe and a brooding, dream-crushing boyfriend of my own.


Fans of the book will enjoy this film the most and will cry the most. Seriously, when the lights came on, I discovered that I was in a room full of weepy stiffly teenagers. For the rest of us, If I Stay is ultimately a beautiful fall outerwear ad campaign set to a pleasant but mediocre teenage love story.


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