Sunday, August 24, 2014

‘If I Stay’ from hit Young Adult novel

Review by James Colt Harrison

Director: R.J. Cutler
Cast: Chloe Grace Moretz, Stacy Keach, Joshua Leonard, Mireille Enos, Jamie Blackley

We seem to be inundated with Young Adult Novels these days and most of them have been, or are soon to be, movies. The latest drama to hit the screen is the MGM-New Line Cinema-Warner Bros joint production of the hit book If I Stay by novelist Gayle Forman. Nothing sells better than tears and angst, and these young novels seem to have captured the market for reducing audiences to a shambles and candidates for the psych ward. Emotional lives have been ruined from reading these “weepies.” And---their authors have become rich!

The lovely Southern Belle Chloe Grace Moretz (she’s from Georgia) stars as Mia, a 17 year-old young woman obsessed with music who is striving to get into Juilliard School of Music in New York. Her biggest decision up until now has been to decide whether to pursue her studies of the cello or to follow her rebellious boyfriend Adam (Jamie Blackley). They’re in love and he plays the guitar in a band. But that is not the most important decision she will have to make.

On a carefree outing with her family, a tremendously violent car crash suddenly changes everything in Mia’s life. She hangs in the balance between life and death as she suffers in a coma. She is fully aware of all events happening around her and can see her loved ones, family and friends alike, who want her to live. Gran’pa (Stacey Keach) arrives and snuffles over her. As she hovers in a nether world, she must make the most important decision of her young life---to live or die. What will she do, and does she have the strength to make such a momentous decision?

Ms. Moretz is a comely young actress who has had some important success in films such as Kick Ass (2010), Martin Scorcese’s Hugo 3D, (2011) which was nominated for 11 Oscars® and allowed her to star with Oscar® winner Ben Kingsley,Carrie (2013), and Muppets Most Wanted (2014). She’s the “go-to” actress when producers want a fresh, beautiful teen to drag the young set into theater seats.

The accomplished actress was drawn into acting by her older brother Trevor, who had been accepted into the Professional Performing Arts School in New York. He taught her things about show business that sparked her interest in drama.

She and her family moved to Hollywood and she made her television debut n a CBS series, The Guardian. Her stock went up after she appeared in The Amityville Horror and was nominated for a Young Artist Award. Her career skyrocketed after that recognition and she was cast in several important pictures as mentioned above.

Her most famous picture was Kick Ass in 2010. She learned to do all her own stunts on location. She had trained for three months with Jackie Chan’s stunt crew and learned how the great action star did his own stunts in films. Chloe made quite an impression in that film.

Although the film was made for yung adults who can relate to first loves and the great decisions that must be made in life, anybody can enjoy the film and have a good cry. It’s recommended and you’ll feel better for it.  Let it all out.

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