If I Stay

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

ChloŽ Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos, Jamie Blackley. Drama. Written by Shauna Cross. Directed by R.J. Cutler.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Life changes in an instant for young Mia Hall after a car accident takes her family and puts her in a coma. During an out-of-body experience, she must decide whether to give in to death or wake up and live. The film then intermingles hospital scenes with her before life.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Iím mixed on this one. First, letís spotlight the positives. The story uplifts young love, family love and self-sacrifice. Itís a tender love story, with sensitive and often witty dialogue, and well-acted by ChloŽ Grace Moretz (something tells me she wonít be doing Kick Ass III), and Jamie Blackley.

While I appreciated this coupleís scenes together, my favorite moment in the movie is between Mia and her little brother. She is rehearsing for a tryout at Julliard. Gifted with the cello, she is unsatisfied with her efforts. Her brother Teddy compliments her in order to reassure his older sister. She lovingly looks at him, but says she thinks she can do it better. He looks at her and says, ďThen letís do it.Ē Rather than siblings quarreling throughout the film, which we see all the time in movies, we since their devotion to one another.

There are several powerful moments that impacted the screening audience, drawing sniffles from quite a few. Thereís also some humor and director R.J. Cutler (Exec Producer of TVís Nashville) does a good job of combining the hospital scenes with moments in Miaís life before the car crash.

My main problems with the film may come from my being of a generation and religious background that hesitates endorsing teen sex and living together outside marriage. Though the young couple doesnít enter into a sexual relationship casually, when they do consummate their love, it is done on the spare of the moment, insinuating the act is done without protection.

Miaís parents are former hippies; he a onetime rock band drummer, she a flower child. Their unconventional ways give the daughter a lot of freedom, and though she returns their trust with responsibility, still, when the high school-aged girl stays out all New Yearís Eve, I canít imagine any parent not at least raising an eyebrow. The girl is 17, not 27.

This is a love story between two young people, so I understand the filmmaker not featuring some sort of spirituality. But the older I get, the less enthralled I am with films where characters face death, yet no one in the entire film mentions God. People are seen weeping and waiting, but not one single character is seen praying. What, this family doesnít know anybody who prays?

Though this girl is facing a life without her mom and dad and brother, still friends and strangers want her to cling on. The film reflects the sanctity of life, emphasizing that life, despite its troubles and woes, is worth the struggle. And our lives do affect those of others, a lesson well taught long ago in Itís A Wonderful Life.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
MGM/New Line

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: One crude, but humorous sexual remark.

Obscene Language: A dozen or so uses of the s-word Ė todayís ďdarn itĒ Ė but I caught no other obscenities.

Profanity: Two misuses of Jesusí name.

Violence: The car accident is discreetly done, so that itís not jolting or gruesome.

Sex: It is implied that the young couple eventually have sex, but there are no graphic sexual acts.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: The boy, who is out of high school is seen drinking and encourages her to drink; we see her take a drink once.

Other: None

Running Time: 106 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Up

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