It’s been some time since I last watched a movie. The closest that I’ve done was watching trailers being shared on Facebook. One such movie was If I Stay, directed by R. J. Cutler, and headed by Chloë Grace Moretz.
The trailer caught my attention because A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera’s Say Something was on it, and that it seemed to involve having an out-of-body experience, which is a movie theme I haven’t seen in a long time.
So, with my friends, I skipped work for the night (I was burned out, anyway), and opted to have a movie and dinner outing. 🙂
Based on the young adult novel written by Gayle Forman, it tells the story of Mia Hall (Moretz) who has an out-of-body experience after she, her parents, and younger brother, Teddy, get into a motor-vehicle accident while on the way to visit her grandparents. While she hovers over her hospitalized body, she learns that her mother died on the spot and that her father died while on the operating table. This prompts her to want to recover and to be strong and care for Teddy.
All throughout the movie, Mia goes through flashback scenes, allowing the audience to peer into her life before the accident. Apparently, Mia’s interest is in classical music, playing the cello at her high school. This is a big departure in the family, since her parents are both into rock music, more specifically, her dad, who plays with a local rock band. Mia’s profound interest in playing the cello and her developing skill prompts her dad to quit his rocker band ways and get a teaching job at the local school. Her mother also changes and gets a part-time job as a travel agent to help support the family.
Mia, at the prompting of her grandfather, auditions for Julliard (with the results of the audition arriving after her accident). Mia also has had her first boyfriend in the character of Adam (Jamie Blackley), who is a vocalist for an up-and-coming rock band. They hit it off smoothly, but somehow drifted apart because of Mia’s preparations for her Julliard audition and Adam’s touring cross-country.
Later in the movie, Mia learns that Teddy dies of a subdural hematoma, leaving her a lone orphan if ever she recovers. She also learns that she gets accepted into Julliard. Caught in the whirlwind of emotions that she experiences outside of consciousness, she now has to make a choice whether she stays and recovers, or allows herself to die to join her family in the afterlife.
What Caught My Attention
The thing that interested me in the movie much is the music. As my friend who I watched the movie with commented, the movie soundtrack must be a really good. And I agree. The song set must be diverse, with classical, pop, and rock fused into one album. Also, we noticed that Moretz is shown to be actually playing the cello. Whether she knows how to play it or not, her acting as a cellist is really good. The story is particularly endearing, although I would have loved it without Adam, and they just focused on her family, her audition to Julliard, and whether she should make the choice to stay or not.
The Book *slight spoiler*
I haven’t read the book prior to watching this movie, and I wish I did. I wonder how different it is going to be from this film version? Also, I found out that the book had a sequel, entitled Where She Went. That intrigues me: did she choose to let herself die in the books? Because in the film, it seems like she chose to live.