MOVIE REVIEW: ‘If I Stay’ does it right

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As far as book to film adaptations go, we’ve got another winner! ‘If I Stay’, the movie adapted from the bestselling novel by Gayle Forman, is sure to please fans of the book. As far as plot goes, this is a very faithful adaption of the book. Yes, there are minor changes here and there, […]

 

As far as book to film adaptations go, we’ve got another winner! ‘If I Stay’, the movie adapted from the bestselling novel by Gayle Forman, is sure to please fans of the book.

As far as plot goes, this is a very faithful adaption of the book. Yes, there are minor changes here and there, but none that should make you foam from the mouth for days. Almost every scene from the book is included in this film, albeit the organization of how those are presented is different than in the novel, but this is done for pacing and it works quite well.

The best parts about this film are the actors and the music.

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Every single actor in this film is PERFECT. The first two that come to mind are Joshua Leonard and Mireille Enos, the actors who portray Mia’s parents. These two PACK A PUNCH! Enos does a fantastic job as that awesome-punk-coolest-ever mom, as does Leonard as Mia’s father. One great thing about the film was that I felt like you got to get to know the parents slightly better than you do in the book. This is because the book is all told in first-person through Mia. You only get to see what she sees. The movie can break this wall slightly and show you what’s going on when Mia isn’t there. One scene in particular (I won’t give it away), was very touching. Only two people were in this scene, and they were Mia’s parents.

As for Chloë Grace Moretz? Fantastic!

One of the important beats in the book is that is covers a large range of emotions. You’ve got devastation, bliss, love, and fury all packed into this little story. I can’t imagine that to be an easy thing to pull off, but Chloë Grace Moretz does it. This girl is an AMAZING actress. I had only seen her once before, in ‘Hugo Cabret’, which really didn’t do her justice. THIS movie, however, really showcases her ability to bring you into the story and feel what her character is feeling. She carries this movie very, very well.

As a side note, 5th Wave fans should be very excited to see her as Cassie Sullivan. After seeing this film, I have no doubts that Chloë Grace Moretz will kill it as our favorite alien-butt-kicking teen.

And Stacy Keach as Gramps? That guy will strangle your feels. (Wait–that sounds… nvm…)

I said before that the music is also one of the best parts. It’s obvious, as you watch the film, that they paid a lot of mind to the music they were using. Anyone who’s read the book will realize how important this is, as music plays a large role in the story. All the music chosen in the film is used well, particularly the cello bits. (At last–the cello gets its chance to shine!)

In conclusion: A FANTASTIC film. It’s a movie that everyone should see at least once. Fans of the book will absolutely love it.

Saul Marquez founded Bookstacked in 2014 and serves as the site's Editor-in-Chief. He primarily covers news for Bookstacked. He also co-hosts Bookmarked: A YA Book Podcast.

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