Friday night saw the girls and I having an impromptu “girls night out”, all because Mr. C decided to take Master 8 to the footy. Initially, we were supposed to just have dinner after Miss 10’s netball game. When I got to the mall I had other ideas. The movies. I was itching to watch something and being a student meant I had a small discount when it came to tickets, so why not take advantage of that! “If I Stay” was on my list of films to watch, as I had already read the book previously.
Based on the book written by Gayle Forman, **If I Stay is a story about a girl; Mia (Chloe Grace Moretz), who was tragically caught in a major accident on one fateful day. Suddenly the choice of having to pick between her love of music and the people she love isn’t too demanding, considering what she has to choose after the accident. Like the book, we see the story unfold through the eyes of Mia, whilst being in a limbo; caught between life and death.
While the film stays true to the book in most cases. I have always accepted the fact that films made based on a book are expected NOT to be exactly the same – I mean it’s someone else’s interpretation of the book and also, you have to squeeze whole book into say…2 hours (or less). Tough feat I have to admit. So leaving out a few things are normal and acceptable. What I simply cannot accept is when a character is changed, which then makes the ending of the film seem unconnected somehow. Or rather illogical. You see, in the book Mia’s boyfriend, Adam is a dream to be with. He’s loving, caring, and your heart goes out to him when you read how much he does to bring Mia back from the brink of death. In the film, he is someone you would loathe and regard as being pathetically selfish. The change in Adam’s personality in the film made it impossible for me to reconcile with Mia’s final decision. I can’t tell you what it is because then I’ll end up spoiling the whole story. Not just the film but the book too. I have to re-read the book to confirm my suspicions that Adam’s character WAS changed into someone you would want to hate.
The acting was also a little bit flat, except for the parents played by Mireille Enos and Joshua Leonard and grandfather, played by Stacy Keach. Neither leads – Mia and Adam (Jamie Blackley) evoked any sort of chemistry to make their relationship believable nor did they evoke the much needed emotions. Only the grandfather stirred some melancholic sadness.
So for those of you who have read the book but are wondering if you should waste some cinema dollar on this film I’d say give it a miss. Wait for it to come out on DVD – for rental. If you haven’t read the book, just go buy it instead. It’s less than $10 and you can read it in the comfort of your own home, plus use your own imagination to picture what Adam SHOULD look like.