Presented by / 8/25/2014 / No comments / , , ,

IF I STAY... REVIEWED BY A GROUCHY GROWNUP

year: 2014 rating: **
What a romantic teenage vehicle like IF I STAY has in common with a horror movie is cause and effect… Scary flicks will cause kids to scream, and they go for that reason… So it's not much different when a movie promises to jerk tears from an audience of young girls, all ready for that particular effect...

Unfortunately, for impatient adult viewers, STAY has two teen characters with  zero chemistry... She, being Chloë Grace Moretz as Mia, and he is yet another misunderstood rebel who channels his powers through Rock N Roll…

At first, Jamie Blackley plays Adam with little emotion, leaving the Afterschool Special type melodrama to Moretz’s character, in spirit form after a terrible car accident with her family – begging the purgatory question and the reason for the title… If she does stay, what’s to live for?

With Stacy Keach
Scenes where Mia’s limbo ghost follows friends and family around the hospital are traded off with memories of her mom and dad, who are the kind of hip/progressive parents all kids would... die for. But the real backdrop consists of Mia, a concert cellist with a possible scholarship at Julliard, falling deeply in love with the perpetually whining Adam, whose band sounds like grungy elevator music. 

Moretz can be a decent actress, but in the purgatory state she doesn’t convey enough emotion to befit the horrendous tragedy, which is almost unfathomable given the eventual body count. And since her romance with Adam has zero obstacles… other than her own neurotic reluctance while pontificating like a 35-year-old intellectual… it’s hard to feel for the living Mia or the dying one: neither seem to care much about anything. Thankfully Grandpa, played by veteran actor Stacy Keach, shares a heartfelt scene or two to make Mia more human: thus giving her a reason, other than a quirky best buddy and a moody boyfriend, to possibly stick around.
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