FEATURED CONTENT
 
  • FILM

  • SEARCH FOR

If I Stay

If I Stay

Rated PG-13, 106 min. Directed by R.J. Cutler. Starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Jamie Blackley, Mireille Enos, Joshua Leonard, Jakob Davies, Liana Liberato, Stacy Keach.

REVIEWED By William Goss, Fri., Aug. 22, 2014

To your average teenager, everyday trials can take on the grandeur of world-ending tragedy. This screen adaptation of Gayle Forman’s YA novel takes that pretense one step further, hamfistedly equating the romantic woes of cello prodigy Mia (Moretz) with a post-mortal limbo from which her stranded spirit observes the aftermath of a fateful car accident, a crash that put her in a coma while claiming the lives of Mom (Enos), Dad (Leonard), and her younger brother (Davies).

Earlier this summer, The Fault in Our Stars struck the proper teen-tearjerker chords, suggesting that a short-lived love is better than none at all and incorporating welcome warmth and humor whenever possible. By contrast, Mia’s parallel dilemmas of choosing between Juilliard or rocker-on-the-road Adam (Blackley) – and whether or not to go into that great white light – feel awfully trite. Director R.J. Cutler (The September Issue) lays on the hazy alt-rock soundtrack and sappy flashbacks while writer Shauna Cross (the underrated Whip It) ensures that Mia has endless navel-gazing voiceovers to share as she scurries down hospital halls and futilely pleads with oblivious family and friends.

We’re spared the otherworldly garishness and tonal whiplash of Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones, but this fusion of milquetoast romance and maudlin handwringing remains beholden to a questionable degree of wish fulfillment. (Not to knock Blackley’s suitably angsty performance, but even Adam’s daddy issues seem dreamy.) Much of the emotional burden falls on Moretz, a talented young actress in her first romantic lead. More comfortable subverting the teenage ideal as killer kids in the Kick-Ass films, Let Me In, and last year’s Carrie remake, or scheming starlets on 30 Rock and the upcoming Clouds of Sils Maria, it turns out that dressed-down earnestness doesn’t suit her nearly as well.

However, just when If I Stay seems like nothing more than a showcase for hollow heartache, an ancillary player will bring some honest feeling to the table, whether it’s Leonard and Enos’ punk-rocker parents offering hard-earned advice or Stacy Keach delivering tearful guidance as Mia’s distraught grandfather. Their few genuine moments throw into even sharper relief the tedious trappings which surround this, your average teenage tragedy.


post a comment

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy  888/262-4386

www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

MON SEP 22

CC, digital: 12:05, 5:15

TUE SEP 23

CC, digital: 12:05, 5:15

WED SEP 24

CC, digital: 12:05, 5:15

THU SEP 25

CC, digital: 12:05, 5:15

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park  800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

MON SEP 22

digital: 1:20, 4:00, 6:40, 9:20

TUE SEP 23

digital: 1:20, 4:00, 6:40, 9:20

WED SEP 24

digital: 1:20, 4:00, 6:40, 9:20

THU SEP 25

digital: 1:20, 4:00

Cinemark Hill Country Galleria 14

12812 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave  800/326-3264

www.cinemark.com/theater_showtimes.asp?theater_id=377

MON SEP 22

digital: 2:00, 4:50, 7:40, 10:25

TUE SEP 23

digital: 2:00, 4:50, 7:40, 10:25

WED SEP 24

digital: 2:00, 4:50, 7:40, 10:25

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock  800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

MON SEP 22

digital: 12:45, 3:45, 6:30, 9:20

TUE SEP 23

digital: 12:45, 3:45, 6:30, 9:20

WED SEP 24

digital: 12:45, 3:45, 6:30, 9:20

THU SEP 25

digital: 12:45, 3:45, 6:30

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35  800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

MON SEP 22

digital: 1:35, 4:15, 6:50, 9:35

TUE SEP 23

digital: 1:35, 4:15, 6:50, 9:35

WED SEP 24

digital: 1:35, 4:15, 6:50, 9:35

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., Pflugerville  512/251-0938

www.cinemark.com

MON SEP 22

digital: 12:10, 3:00, 6:10, 8:45

TUE SEP 23

digital: 12:10, 3:00, 6:10, 8:45

WED SEP 24

digital: 12:10, 3:00, 6:10, 8:45

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown  512/868-9922

MON SEP 22

1:40, 4:20, 7:40, 10:10

TUE SEP 23

1:40, 4:20, 7:40, 10:10

WED SEP 24

1:40, 4:20, 7:40, 10:10

THU SEP 25

1:40, 4:20, 7:40, 10:10

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake  512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

MON SEP 22

CC/DVS: 1:10, 4:05, 7:15, 9:45

TUE SEP 23

CC/DVS: 1:10, 4:05, 7:15, 9:45

WED SEP 24

CC/DVS: 1:10, 4:05, 7:15, 9:45

THU SEP 25

CC/DVS: 1:10, 4:05, 7:15, 9:45

Lakeline

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr.  512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

MON SEP 22

CC/DVS: 1:55, 4:25, 7:15

TUE SEP 23

CC/DVS: 1:55, 4:25, 7:15

WED SEP 24

CC/DVS: 1:55, 4:25, 7:15

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

MON SEP 22

2:15

TUE SEP 23

2:15

WED SEP 24

2:15

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos  512/805-8000

MON SEP 22

11:10am, 1:45, 4:20, 7:05, 9:45

TUE SEP 23

11:10am, 1:45, 4:20, 7:05, 9:45

WED SEP 24

11:10am, 1:45, 4:20, 7:05, 9:45

Tinseltown North

N. I-35 & FM 1825, Pflugerville  512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

MON SEP 22

digital: 1:20, 4:15, 7:10, 9:50

TUE SEP 23

digital: 1:20, 4:15, 7:10, 9:50

WED SEP 24

digital: 1:20, 4:15, 7:10, 9:50

THU SEP 25

digital: 1:20, 4:15, 7:10, 9:50

Tinseltown South

5501 S. I-35  512/326-4408

$10 "special event" ticket prices apply to Indian films.

MON SEP 22

digital: 1:05, 4:10, 7:00, 9:45

TUE SEP 23

digital: 1:05, 4:10, 7:00, 9:45

WED SEP 24

digital: 1:05, 4:10, 7:00, 9:45

THU SEP 25

digital: 1:05, 4:10, 7:00, 9:45
share