Friday, September 12, 2014

Film Review: IF I STAY

Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz, Jamie Blackley
Release date: August 22nd, 2014

If you've been reading my blog, you know that I recently read If I Stay by Gayle Forman to prepare for the movie. You can read my review of the book here, if you're into that sort of thing. If you want the quick and dirty, I rated it a 4 out of 5 stars.

Let me tell you, I loved the movie even more.

It's rare that a book reader prefer the movie adaptation to the original book, but that is completely the case for me here. As I've said, I enjoyed the book, but didn't completely connect to it emotionally, and so didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. But the movie is a different story.

The basic structure of the story is unchanged from the novel to the film. It still bounces back and forth between the present and flashbacks, and it all interweaves beautifully. The only difference here is the start of the story. In the novel, we start out almost immediately with a bang, beginning only a few pages before the big accident, the inciting incident for the entire novel. In the movie, we are treated to a small bit of backstory before it happens, giving us a little more emotional attachment from the get-go.

The performances by Chloë Grace Moretz and Jamie Blackley are spot-on for the characters. Chloë's Mia is unassuming, yet snarky; confident, yet hesitant. Perfect Mia. And Jamie Blackley...

I could go on for days about how absolutely PERFECT Jamie Blackley is as Adam Wilde. Seriously. He was BORN for the role. He IS Adam Wilde. 

The supporting characters are amazing, too. I especially enjoyed Mireille Enos as Mia's mother, though it was Stacy Keach's performance as Mia's grandfather that really stole the show toward's the end of the movie. 

The increased emotional attachment to the characters in the movie derived from the fact that Mia's character is just more emotional in the movie, which was the biggest thing I thought the book was lacking. 

And yes, I did cry. I did not cry when I read the book, but I cried like a baby at the movie, and so did my mom and dad. 

In all honesty, the ONLY thing that bothered me was the fact that Shooting Star was renamed for the Willamette Stone. Wait, what? And it's never really even discussed. I didn't even realize the band's name was different until halfway through the movie, when I realized that the name was on the drumset. It was, in my opinion, confusing and unnecessary. 

All in all, I absolutely loved it. I appreciated the fact that not only did the movie stay true to the book--in both feeling and storyline--but it also contained a great deal of dialogue pulled straight from the book. And it's that kind of attention to detail that made this book-to-movie-adaptation a success in my book.(Get it? Book? Yeah, that was punny.)  I definitely recommend it for both fans of the book, and fans of general tear-inducing movies. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Tell me: have YOU seen If I Stay yet? If so, what did you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below! 

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