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Family Movie Review: If I Stay (PG-13)

IfIStay ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernal

MPAA Rating: PG-13        Length: 107 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 14+. This is a film based on the same-named young-adult novel, and it’s about a family tragedy and a teen romance. Numerous characters die in a heart-breaking way; some cursing; lots of kissing and a few implied sex scenes, including the two main characters waking up in bed together; a graphic car crash; and scenes in surgery, with doctors and nurses covered in blood. There are a lot of intense things and you’ll probably weep, but it will be emotionally resonant for younger audiences.  

Chloe Grace Moretz stars in ‘If I Stay,’ an adaptation of the young-adult novel by Gayle Forman. The film does all it can to pull on your heartstrings, but the emotional resonance is somewhat undercut by the production’s numerous attempts at hipness.

By Roxana Hadadi

“If I Stay” is the kind of movie that attempts to explore the meaning and purpose of life, but too often falls back on cliché to do so. “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans,” and “What’s your story?” and “If you live or die, it’s all up to you”—they’re all lines of dialogue that pop up once and then over and over again. That repetitiveness doesn’t totally ruin the film’s emotional resonance, but it does cut into the impact.


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