Friday, August 22, 2014

If I Stay

A manipulative and sappy teen drama that overstays its welcome. Made for not-so-bright teenagers who don't understand manipulation and emotional cheap shots.

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some sexual material (including teen sex and alcohol abuse).

If I Stay

When is the ongoing string of awful young adult book adaptations going to stop? As we’ve seen from such flops as the last Percy Jackson movie, Mortal Instruments and Beautiful Creatures, people aren’t sucking them up anymore. Very few are actually worthwhile. And If I Stay definitely belongs to the long list of terrible ones that need not be seen.

Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass, Let Me In) stars as the high school-age daughter of two Portland rockers-turned-hipsters/bad parents. With the sky being the limit, tragedy strikes when she, her parents and her younger brother are in a nasty car accident that leaves all of them hospitalized and with her having an out-of-body experience as her comatose body is kept alive by surgeons and doctors. While this event happens in the beginning of the movie, not everything we see takes place in her ghostly period.

If I Stay jumps around from watching Moretz’s ghost sulk around the hospital to her backstory with her first boyfriend, who happens to be exactly like her parents. Their teen romance is sensationalized and overly dramatized, giving the movie an air of annoying melodrama. Combined with the manipulative hospital drama, it’s an overbearing assault on the emotions. As if the last manipulative moment didn’t strike enough undeserved sentiment, it bombards us heavily, one after the other, with more and more. But as hard as it tries, If I Stay never ever, not once, succeeds.

While teen girls may eat this garbage up, nobody else will – especially not the parents of those teenage girls who love it. Once they find out how much teen sex (there are two teen sex scenes in the movie) and teen alcohol abuse is in the movie, they especially won’t want their little girls partaking in this cinematic waste. Steer clear of If I Stay.

(Photo credit: Warner Bros.)

1 1/2 out of 5

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