“If I Stay,” the big-screen adaptation of the literary tearjerker of the same name by Gayle Forman, has scored an official release date. The film will hit theaters August 22, starring Chloë Grace Moretz in the lead role of a teenage girl caught between two worlds.
For those not in the know, “If I Stay” is the story of Mia, a 17 year-old gifted cellist with an adoring family and a bright future who loses everything in a brutal car crash that kills her mother, father, and brother. Untethered from her body at the time of the accident, Mia finds herself in limbo with a terrible choice to make: let go, and move on to whatever comes next; or stay, and learn to live in a world in which the three people dearest to her are gone.
The story follows Mia as she wanders invisibly through the halls of the hospital where her body lies comatose, observing her loved ones sitting vigil by her bedside and thinking back on the life she might be leaving behind.
The film is an interesting change of pace for Moretz, who usually gravitates toward edgier fare and roles that require a hint of madness. After playing a child vampire in “Let Me In,” the “Kick-Ass” franchise’s foul-mouthed Hit Girl, and the latest big-screen incarnation of unhinged telekinetic Carrie White, the actress will be going in a new direction with Mia.
Mia is vulnerable, thoughtful, deeply in love with her boyfriend Adam (Jamie Blackley), and passionate about music. Among other things, Moretz had to learn to play the cello for the part. But with Mia’s decidedly dark decision — death, or life — at the story’s center, Moretz’s history of playing girls who find deep strength in the midst of unimaginable torment should have prepared her well for the challenges of a quieter, more emotional role.
“If I Stay” also stars Mireille Enos and Joshua Leonard in the roles of Mia’s parents, and Liana Liberato as Kim, Mia’s best friend. Look for more on the movie as we approach the release date in August.