If I Stay is a film adaptation of a novel of the same name by Gayle Forman.
Before a tragic event changed everything, the biggest decision 17-year-old Mia Hall faced was deciding whether she wanted to move across the country to pursue her dream of studying to be a classical cellist at Julliard or staying with her rock star boyfriend in pursuit of his dreams.
In the film, we follow 17-year-old Mia Hall as she deals with the aftermath of a terrible car crash involving her and her family. Mia is caught in a dimension somewhere between life and death and can see everything happening around her, including seeing the doctors operate on her.
The film switches back and forth between Mia’s memories and real-time events that are occurring around her. It is rather fast-paced and may be confusing to some.
The actors formed a formidable cast; each one really brought the characters to life. Having read the book, I was really pleased with the way the actors portrayed their characters so accurately.
Unfortunately, the film focuses more on the romance angle of the story than the actual torturous decision the Mia was faced with— whether to leave her remaining family and friends behind or to stay and live out the rest of her life without the family members that she lost in the crash.
The movie ends just like the book did. The end is not quite a cliff-hanger, but it does indeed leave you wanting to know more. There is a sequel to the book titled Where She Went, and judging on the way the movie ended, there will more than likely be a film adaptation of it was well.
If I Stay made me laugh and it made me cry. Director R. J. Cutler did a decent job of incorporating most of the details of the book into the film, only making a few noticeable changes, and the casting choices were excellent.
If I Stay rates for those like a drama with a hint of romance. 4/5 stars.