If I Stay: Sorry, but teen star Chloe Moretz just can't act, writes JIM SHELLEY

If I Stay (12A)

Verdict: Romcom with a dark twist


Love: Jamie Blackley as Adam and Chloe Grace Moretz as Mia in romcom If I Stay

Love: Jamie Blackley as Adam and Chloe Grace Moretz as Mia in romcom If I Stay

This film suggests that Hollywood’s solution to how to freshen up the lightweight romcom genre is, surprisingly, to make it darker.

Adapted from Gayle Forman’s best-selling novel, If I Stay features flashbacks detailing the improbable romance between wannabe rock star Adam (British actor Jamie Blackley) and the film’s ethereal narrator, cello prodigy Mia (Chloe Grace Moretz).

The first half is blighted by adolescent drivel like: ‘Sometimes you make choices in life, and sometimes choices make you.’

But the way fate intervenes, with unexpectedly bleak consequences, means If I Stay — and Moretz — deserve credit for trying to produce something deeper than the usual teen fodder.

Unfortunately, Moretz is also the film’s weakest link. ‘When I play, I picture myself inside the cello. It’s like my little house,’ Mia tells Adam, explaining the way she loses herself in her music.

I may be doing her a disservice, but the Kick-Ass action heroine doesn’t strike you as a kind of Daniel Day-Lewis junior, spending months mastering her instrument.

Despite being exceedingly pretty, Moretz’s face is too blank to express joy, let alone the rawer emotions required when Mia is forced to choose whether she wants to ‘live for love’.


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