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Movie Reviews IF I STAY

IF I STAY

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Yet again, another best-selling novel has been transformed into the latest draw for fifteen year old girls and grown women in need of an emotional release. Although author Gayle Forman does have marketable talent, the transformation of IF I STAY (2014) starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos, and Jamie Blackley into the tear-jerker of the summer does little to complete with this year's reigning star—A FAULT IN OUR STARS (2014).

Futures tend to pivot on a dime, and IF I STAY graphically reinforces this point as high school student Mia Hall finds herself waking through the horrible aftermath of a car crash while simultaneously dealing with the eventuality that her body is physically trapped in a coma. During her other-world experience, she quickly realizes that she has a choice. To wake and live with the resulting consequences of the life-altering crash, or to allow death complete and permanent sovereignty over her body.

Following Chloe Grace Moretz back through the obligatory flashbacks designed to build an emotional bridge unfortunately do little more than make us long for a conclusion. We tire waiting to know which side of eternity Mia chooses, and although there are plenty of tears, there is little else to support a hundred and seven minutes.

Strangely, as deeply as this movie delves into the afterlife and the choices we all might face, rarely did I hear a mention of God, heaven, or earth. Guess teenage girls aren't the least bit interested in spirituality beyond praying for their boyfriend's undivided attention and everlasting devotion.

Witnessing director R.J. Cutler's departure from documentaries and first step into dramatic features might leave us wondering whether he was too busy following the proven teenage-formula to leave us with anything substantial to talk about in the car ride home. Rated PG-13, Drama, 107 Mins, ** 2 stars out of 5.

 

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Reviewed by Lynne Martin September 16, 2014
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