Bring a tissue box

A review on the tear-jerking movie If I Stay

photo from official site

Story by Alex O'Gorman, staff writer

“If I Stay” follows Mia, an aspiring young musician who is in a horrible car accident that leaves her in a comatose state. Revisiting moments from her past, as well as observing the events happening around her, she must make the ultimate choice: to leave or stay. Much like the life that Mia had to choose to live or leave behind, the movie had both good and bad qualities.

The movie takes on an interesting outlook on the coma-patient-who-has-lost-everything plot line with a unique storytelling method and some seriously tear-jerking scenes.

“If I Stay” starts in the middle of the plot and then alternates between present and past events. By the time all of the plot details have been explored, the film establishes a genuine emotional connection between the characters and the audience. In addition, the reactions of Mia’s friends and family will definitely cause a shed tear or two, if you’re the sentimental sort.

Despite its good qualities, “If I Stay” featured a vast amount of young adult clichés and misinformation. Obviously, the perfectly-flawed boyfriend whom the quirky heroine would die for played a big role in the plot, even though the relationship was often predictable and repetitive.

While powerful at times, the acting occasionally felt forced. The actors sometimes seemed to merely be reciting the script rather than actually, you know, acting. Looking back, only a few scenes carried any real dramatic weight.

Although the book which the movie is based on was classified as realistic fiction, the story’s logic was flawed. While coma patients are able to hear and occasionally see, they would never be able to walk around in a ghost-like form in a place they’ve never seen before without actually being there. The writers used Mia’s comatose ghost form as a lazy method of having her discover plot-changing revelations, and felt like a bit of a Coma-Spirit Ex Machina.

Overall, the viewer’s enjoyment of this film depends largely on how they feel about weepy teen chick flicks. Some will love it, some will hate it, and some will be wondering if they have to stay (pun intended) in the theater after the first 5 minutes.