Reviewed by: Samuel Chetty
death in the Bible
music in the Bible
Why is the world the way it is? If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving, would He really create a world like this? (filled with oppression, suffering, death and cruelty) Answer
Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer
How good is good enough? Answer
|Featuring:||Chloë Grace Moretz … Mia Hall
Mireille Enos … Kat
Jamie Blackley … Adam
Joshua Leonard … Denny
Liana Liberato … Kim
Stacy Keach … Gramps
Gabrielle Rose … Gran
Jakob Davies … Teddy
|Director:||R.J. Cutler—“Nashville” (2012)|
New Line Cinema
“Live for love”
updated September 10, 2014
“If I Stay” is a romantic drama with an unusual concept incorporated. The main character is Mia (Chloë Grace Moretz—“Carrie” and the “Kick-Ass” films), a high school senior and a talented musician who plays classical cello and is considering a music career. Her boyfriend Adam (Jamie Blackley—“Snow White and the Huntsmen”) is a rock musician, which puts the two of them in different social cultures. While they have highly favorable perceptions of each other personally, uncertainty hangs over their relationship as they have to figure out whether staying together beyond high school would be socially or logistically possible given their contrasting musical pursuits.
Mia’s family has a car accident, and both her parents die shortly after arriving at the hospital. Mia survives the impact but is in a coma. She has an out-of-body experience in which she sees what is going on in the hospital and overhears conversations, but cannot interact with anyone. She realizes that she has a choice whether or not to return to life on Earth. The relationship in time (such as past, future, or in another dimension of existence) between this experience and the story of her and Adam is something I’ll let you find out yourself, if you decide to watch the movie.
The plot pacing is slow enough to ordinarily be a negative factor for me, but it actually wasn’t a problem this time. The movie was not boring, because I had to figure out time relationships between scenes and guess the ending based on hints dropped along the way. Character development is not particularly strong, but it’s present nonetheless. The movie’s appeal probably leans toward female audiences, most likely teenage and young adult. Although that is not my demographic, as a classical pianist, I found some elements of interest involving music. I thought the movie portrayed the expectations for classical musicians very well and that it accurately showed how classical and rock artists view each other’s musical traits and fans.
Although the story did not tell a strong or obvious message, there is room for individual interpretation as the story raises some questions worth discussion, such as whether dramatic, severe events are necessary for people to make major commitments. In Biblical stories, the answer seems to vary among individuals. In the story of Job, Job was committed to God all along, so his adversity was not needed for him to follow God, but was rather a test of his spiritual strength. On the other hand, in the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar had to be driven away from his throne to live in the fields and eat grass for a while, in order to recognize God’s sovereignty.
My overall opinion of the movie leans positive. Where storytelling and moviemaking are concerned, I did not perceive any major weaknesses and would put this movie on the high end of average films. However, I encourage viewer discretion due to the content issues below.
Sexuality: There are two scenes of physical intimacy between Mia and Adam (one in bed) which indicate probable intercourse, though nothing explicit is shown. There is also a scene in which attention is drawn to a girl’s partially-visible cleavage as a male writes on her skin at a public event.
Language: God’s name as an interjection—approx. 15 times, Jesus’ name as an interjection—2, Mild obscenities—approx. 17.
Miscellaneous: Both the teenage and adult characters are shown drinking in multiple scenes, and the dialog has a few references to getting drunk or high, although it’s not clear if anyone actually did. There is a reference to same-sex attraction when somebody says that a female character “likes girls,” and then the two girls kiss. During an argument, Mia makes a rude remark to her father about his standards for musical proficiency.
Following the car accident, there is a short scene of a surgery in which a lot of blood is shown. For mature audiences who are okay with movies containing the aforementioned content, I don’t know of anything else in the usual moral categories that would be an issue. The story element of an out-of-body experience with the choice of whether to return to life may raise doctrinal concerns for some, but I saw nothing about the movie which suggests that Mia’s experience could happen to a real person, and she does not communicate with spirits or deities.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.