1. The first line really upsets me. “Movies about pretty teenagers dying are so hot right now, and If I Stay is no The Fault In Our Stars.” Almost everything in pop culture has people dying. Saying, “Movies about pretty teenagers dying are so hot right now,” is completely irrelevant because almost every single book, movie, show, ect. has characters who die! Why are we comparing If I Stay to TFiOS? They are two DIFFERENT stories, and although same genera, are scarcely similar to each other! When comparing the two, the author said this regarding If I Stay, “the former is about a girl whose biggest stressor, until the accident, was being caught between studying cello at Julliard or staying in Portland with her dreamy, rock star boyfriend Adam Wilde (Jamie Blackley).” I’m not out of high school yet, so I haven’t gone off to college or seriously had to commit to choosing a school to go to. That being said I know it’s a huge decision! I feel like that summary is totally degrading to If I Stay, because that is not what the story is. Sure Mia’s college choice could be simply summarized as choosing between Julliard and Adam, but there’s more to it in the book. I think everyone who’s gone to a school far away has had to make sacrifices with either choice.
*breif disclaimer: I absolutely love TFiOS too, and it is very near and dear to my heart. I hope I didn’t make it sound like I don’t like it. I just don’t think the two need to be compared like the author did.
2. Again comparing to TFiOS. WHY!? This, “if it isn’t technically “sick-lit,” it does aim for the same weepy sweet spot of young people having to wrestle with mortality before they’ve had much of a chance to live,” although true to a point, irritates me. Spoiler alert but that is a fairly common theme! If I Stay and TFiOS are not the only ones so please stop this comparison. Mia was also dealing with her entire immediate family dying, not just her living or dying, so it’s not just about her having much of a chance to live yet. Also, while it is built around a romance, that is only a part of the story! Mia loves her family immensely too, and they play a HUGE role! It’s not just a love story. This part: “The movie, which was written by Shauna Cross (Whip It) and directed by R.J. Cutler (The September Issue), doesn’t come packing an equivalent to “‘OK?’ ‘OK’” — but that’s not for lack of effort.” I honestly don’t even know what to say to this.
3. More TFiOS comparison, though brief. “He pursues Mia, pushing past her initial reluctance, which, in this case, isn’t grounded in anything in particular — she’s just a bit of a drip.” What does this mean!? Really?! Is that what this author thinks!? PSA people don’t have to be “all in” when first dating someone. The article talks more about Mia and Adam’s relationship (because you know that’s totally the whole story *extreme sarcasm*) and then says this, “it’s a soft-focus take on an issue plenty of teenagers face when it comes to attending college… except rather than wrestle with it, If I Stay takes a wild turn into a life-or-death scenario.” When Mia is in a coma she is not thinking about choosing between Adam or Julliard! It was dying, or living a life without her family. While she thought about college, her choice was not solely based on that!
4. This part I have few issues with. Although I love Mia’s parents, and think they are very charming, they aren’t the most charming part of the film. There are equally charming as other parts too. But that is all more subjective than the rest of this article. The last part “Though it all gets funneled into Mia’s constant feelings of self-doubt.” makes me mad too. Just read the book.
5. It’s completely wrong to say that Mia’s only personality trait is insecurity. She’s loving, dedicated, loyal, and hardworking. While she is insecure, none of it is unwarranted, and it’s completely natural. This part, “something she has in common with an unfortunate subgroup of YA protagonists who tend to be defined by a blurry lack of qualities rather than any definition,” I can’t even comment on.
The rest of this one is terribly irritating too. Chloë did an amazing job as Mia. I don’t think she was ever too much for the role! The article also says this regarding her acting, “injecting more vividness into the passive character than seems to be in the source material.” Not be to blunt, but until you read the source material don’t comment about it.
6. This own makes me furious. The two decisions aren’t really related. When Mia is deciding whether to live or die she goes back and thinks about the Adam/Julliard decision, but the two do not decide each other. “the fact that it even presents [living or dying] as a choice that needs to be made speaks to how milquetoast a protagonist Mia is.” I don’t know what to say to this either. Mia wasn’t the only one injured, she lost her whole family. It’s not unreasonable that she would think of dying too was a possibility! This article makes it sound bad that Mia was given a choice. The last part too, “Throughout the film, she needs to be encouraged in taking the mildest of steps forward — in dating a guy who’s totally in love with her, in auditioning for her dream school. Now she needs to be encouraged to live?” Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down. That escalated too quickly. Adam and school happened BEFORE the accident, when the decisions were on a completely different level. It’s not bad that she felt weary about dating Adam and needed encouragement, as his article calls it. Also, it’s not weird that the needed to be encouraged to apply for an audition to Julliard. That is a huge step for her music career, regardless of whether or not she got the audition. It’s natural to be nervous. The last sentence- put yourself in Mia’s shoes. I think anyone would need encouragement, and also reassurance after loosing everything Mia did.
7. This one might possibly be the worst. That is not at all what the movie is about. It makes me sick that this is the message the author of this article took away from the movie. Did she even watch it? Or understand it for that matter? She must have watched it with a bias against it, because that is not at all what I saw it as. Even people who read the book shouldn’t see the ending as her just living for Adam. The movie portrayed the book very well!
“As Adam, of course, runs frantically back to her side, apologizing for being a jerk and promising he’ll follow her to New York (“I’ll do whatever you want!”) if she just opens her eyes.” Well first of all Adam said more than that. Anyways, of course Adam said that! It’s a natural human response. I am positive everyone has had a moment in their life when they promised someone something in a time of panic or distress, or wished for one more minute, ect. The response Adam had is one most people would have.
“It suggests the ultimate way to win a fight with your significant other is to almost die, and there’s something genuinely upsetting about that — a movie that uses death so callously for melodrama.” Mia doesn’t live solely for Adam. She lives for the rest of her family, whether or not they’re actually related to her. Mia wakes up after Adam talks to her, but everyone else had talked to her or visited her too! If I Stay is not only a love story between Mia and Adam, it is about Mia’s love for her family too. I’ll say it again, Mia did not live solely for Adam. Finally, yes, the deaths in If I Stay are cruel, unfair, and heartbreaking, but the movie does NOT use death callously for melodrama. A viewer who thinks that could not have possibly read the book, and was ignorant to half of the events in the movie.
Sorry this got so long, I just felt like it needed to be said. This article overall grinds my gears. Some parts of it shock me, in the sense that people would really think that is what the movie is trying to portray. I think everyone should read he book, of course, but if you’re not going to, don’t write an article like this! I adored the movie, and thought it did justice to the fantastic book. It’s disappointing that some people view it in the way this buzzfeed article depicts it as.