Every day is full of little decisions. Hair up or down? Red or blue? Black or white? Cream or milk? To “If I Stay” or not “If I Stay”?
We can’t help you with those first few (though blue does look really nice on you), but we may be of service for the last one. Chloe Grace Moretz’s latest big-screen turn, “If I Stay,” opens this weekend, and it looks like a real tear-jerker. Adapted from the young adult book of the same name by Gayle Forman, the plot follows Mia (Moretz) after a devastating accident that tears her family apart. In a coma and on the brink of death, an out-of-body version of herself looking in on present events, Mia must decide whether to stay. Yes, she’s deciding whether she’ll live or die.
The reviews for the movie are in. Let’s hear what top critics have to say about “If I Stay.”
More Moretz, Please
“Chloe Grace Moretz, the teenage girl in question. She has been good in ’Kick-Ass’ and ’Let Me In’ and even the remake of ’Carrie’ (though the movie wasn’t much). If you have to watch someone weep her way through a movie, she’s as good a choice as anyone…Moretz is good throughout, bringing authentic feeling to sometimes inauthentic situations.” – Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic
Music To Their Ears
“Lots of musical names are dropped — Yo Yo Ma, Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry and The Ramones — as if the film is trying to establish some serious cred. Mostly it’s lip service, until a scene with Mia on the cello and Adam on guitar in an outdoor singalong of the Smashing Pumpkins’ Today. It’s a buoyant moment and the first time Mia and Adam’s professed love for music seems convincing.” – Claudia Puig, USA Today
“The supporting cast is serviceable, with a couple of standouts. As ex-rocker-chick mom Kat Hall, Mireille Enos, who till now has seemed destined to play pasty-faced glumsters (“The Killing,” “Big Love,” “World War Z”), finally gets to slap on some red lipstick, big hair and leopard prints with attitude to match. Though he doesn’t get much screen time, gruff ol’ grandpa Stacy Keach owns the movie’s most powerful hanky-grabbing moment. Keeping vigil at Mia’s bedside, he begs her to hold on while also giving her the OK to let go.” – Kristin Tillotson, Minneapolis Star Tribune
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
“What the Liam Neeson action flick ’Taken’ was to middle-age men, the Chloë Grace Moretz romance ’If I Stay’ may be to preteen girls: cinematic catnip that works best on a particular species…If you’re not in tears by this movie’s end, it probably wasn’t intended for you anyway.” – Rafer Guzman, Newsday
Ah, Young Love
“The crux of the film is Mia and Adam’s relationship, a decision that may read as romantic and dreamy on paper, but one that scans as deranged and weirdly insulting on the screen. As Mia’s still-living family and friends (including Liana Liberato as best pal Kim, who is just wonderful) weep over her battered body and her immediate relatives are routinely wheeled out, bloody and ruined and dead, she can only think of her relationship with Adam. At least, that’s what it looks like, because as the film ping-pongs back and forth between Coma Mia and Pre-Coma Mia, the narrative is entirely dedicated to telling the teens’ love story. Sure, her parents and Teddy and Kim and her grandparents are peripheral characters, but everything is about Adam.” – Kate Erbland, Film.com