If I Stay  (2014)    45/100

Rating :   45/100                                                                     107 Min        12A

Another teen WEEPY, hot on the heels of its sister film this summer ‘The Fault in Our Stars‘, and it is equally without any worth, featuring as it does universally poor acting and trashy writing. Based on the 2009 novel by Gayle Forman, we watch as Chloë Grace Moretz’s young naïve and virginal Mia falls in love with the older about to graduate from high school front man in local band Adam (Jamie Blackley), all before a brutal car accident sees her spend the rest of the film on a bed in hospital as we watch her ghost debate whether or not to completely kick the bucket or to re-enter her material form, using flashbacks to fill in the interim romantic details and help her decide. Unfortunately, the medical staff at the hospital seem to be particularly inept as the other members of her family appear to be in a better state when they first arrive compared to several hours later in their care and she is continually given less incentive to return to the mortal coil, not to mention the fact they threaten her boyfriend with imprisonment for no good reason when he tries to visit her.

Conceptually, it is very, very typical of the dire literature aimed at young teenage girls and it suffers from one of its biggest pitfalls – setting up this ‘idyllic’ boyfriend without any realistic consideration as to his character, leading scores of young girls down the garden path when the man in question is never in a million years going to be faithful to her. In fact it’s painfully obvious he doesn’t care that much about Mia here, as she continually waits around twiddling her thumbs whilst he completes his latest gig, and then he drops her off at home before going out on the lash with his mates – this person has multiple, equally naïve girls dotted around the place that he rotates, meanwhile showing off to his band members with regard to the latest hottie he has duped, and yet he will be just as incapable of scoring with a girl his own age who is a little wiser. In the second half it is more convincing that he actually cares about her, but then she is after all literally at death’s door (the hospital exit it seems).

The music is the completely banal T-Mobile-advert-esque twonk for the first half, and then the expected repetitive couple of piano notes for the second, with a few songs sung by Adam although they all sound pretty much the same and are a far cry from doing the film any favours. Mia is trying to get into an exclusive music school to specialise in playing the Cello, a school which is on the other side of the county wouldn’t you know it, and some of the Cello playing is actually the only decent thing in the film. A soft glossy sheen has been applied to most of the images throughout the movie which, together with the constant toing and froing that the timeframe is held hostage to, continues to grate, and it’s chock full of silly moments – like the two splitting up because Mia says she can’t guarantee she’ll be able to spend the following New Year with Adam, despite the fact she doesn’t even know if she’s even going to get into this school (the letter is opened whilst she’s comatose and they read it out to her – will she have made it, or will it be another reason to kiss her teenage life goodbye?) and it is pretty normal for all students everywhere to be going home for the festive season, and indeed there is nothing really stopping Adam from visiting her at uni either. The predictability level of this will probably make you feel sick, and if you have ever lost anyone under tragic circumstances, twaddle like this will probably just leave you feeling slightly angry too.

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