Popular teen novel turned typical romance film

The film If I Stay, released on Aug. 29, is the most predictably tear-jerking, heart-wrenching film of the summer.The film inspires a sense of melancholy, a desperate desire to grasp life before it runs out and to find love like the film’s protagonists, Mia and Adam. In this respect, If I Stay is worth the watch. In terms of originality, this film is not up to par. If I Stay centers on Mia, a young cellist played by Chloë Grace Moretz. At only 17 years old, Moretz gives an outstanding performance. She is an exceptional actress and even more so with Jamie Blackley––who plays her boyfriend Adam––by her side. The movie begins the morning Mia is in a car crash that puts her in a coma on a snowy morning that also claims the lives of her parents. We follow Mia through her out-of-body experience. She takes us with her as she reflects back to her dearest memories in her life. By the end of the film, the audience has a good account of her life to this point. Everything seemed to be going unbelievably well before her accident—she had a close relationship with her family, a handsome, loving boyfriend and a successful audition to The Julliard School. The loss of her parents, however, has put Mia somewhere in limbo weighing the pros and cons of coming to back to a world where her parents are gone and deciding whether she should stay for her boyfriend and brother or “move on.” There is a lot going on in the film that isn’t all about Mia and Adam. Her relationships with her family members and the cello are emphasized consistently. Still, one cannot help but notice that it is as much about the love story as it is about her devastating situation. This plot is in no way surprising. Countless times in the past and in the anticipated future, we have had films that revolve around first love, loss and the “life-changing crucible.” The rejections of happily ever afters are not original anymore. Shakespeare already covered that when he wrote “Romeo and Juliet” decades ago. In fact, it has been covered over and over since then. This is not to say that happily ever afters are the better option. We have reached a time where films should aim at stronger messages than the continuous fight toward love. Films need to educate rather than regurgitate. Teaching something new and applicable to real life will inspire audiences to create and delve deeper into matters of the heart and life. The film itself will most likely bring a large profit from the pockets of young teenage girls who romanticize everything. It isn’t a life-changing or even very thought-provoking film. Be warned, you will not be enlightened by anything in this film. This is yet another flick that revolves around a girl’s most “important” decision in life, centered on a boy.