Do you remember back in 2009 when Gayle Forman's If I Stay was published in hardcover? This young adult novel won the hearts of readers of all ages and earned much critical acclaim, becoming an Indie Next pick and winning the 2009 NAIBA Book of the Year Award and a 2010 Indie Choice Honor Award.
I loved the novel and was thrilled when I learned that If I Stay was going to be turned into a movie directed by R. J. Cutler. Because music is at the core of this story, sensitive acting and a solid soundtrack were going to be key to the movie's success. Fortunately, If I Stay has both.
The film stars Chloe Grace Moretz and Jamie Blackley, who couldn't be better for the parts of Mia and Adam, the two teenagers who meet and fall in love. The young couple is wonderfully supported by the likes of Mireille Enos, Joshua Leonard, Stacy Keach, and Liana Liberato. And then there is the music, which includes classical pieces and golden oldie rock songs supplemented by rock originals, played and sung by Blackley himself.
Just in case you somehow missed the story, here's the studio's summary:
Mia Hall thought the hardest decision she would ever face would be whether to pursue her musical dreams at Juilliard or follow a different path to be with the love of her life, Adam. But what should have been a carefree family drive changes everything in an instant, and now her own life hangs in the balance. Caught between life and death for one revealing day, Mia has only one decision left, which will not only decide her future but her ultimate fate.The Blu-Ray / DVD of If I Stay was released this week, and I have already had a chance to see it. I can't tell you how beautifully this novel was translated from print to screen. I admit was concerned about how the actors would handle the music, but Moretz and Blackley are absolutely amazing. Not only do they come off as relaxed and natural during the many scenes with cello and guitar, respectively, but their onscreen chemistry is positively sparkling (and I'm not talking vampires).
A story that deals with death, music, love, and destiny could so easily come off as corny on the big screen, but If I Stay is instead both intellectually and emotionally strong. Be warned: You'll want a huge box of tissues near you before you start watching. Be warned again: You'll be surprised at just where your eyes will start to well up. The soundtrack and the acting work together in a special way that will intensify your feelings and keep you fully invested in the film.
The Blu-Ray / DVD pack of If I Stay contains several great special features, such as an interview with Gayle Forman, a discussion about the music, and insight into the book to movie adaptation. Viewers also be able to listen to different levels of commentary (don't miss Cutler's thoughts about the music).
Giveaway Alert: Come back tomorrow when I'll be hosting a giveaway of one copy each of the Blu-Ray / DVD movie pack and Gayle Forman's novel If I Stay. You won't want to miss this; If you're anything like me, I know you'll want to watch this movie more than once.
Twitter Extra: To help celebrate the release of If I Stay on Blu-Ray, Gayle Forman herself will be live tweeting a viewing of the film tonight (November 20). I encourage you to join in and ask Forman questions about the film or the story and to discuss your favorite characters and scenes. Be sure to follow @Cambio and the hashtag #IfIStayIn. I'll be online tonight, tweeting along, starting at 8:00 pm EST.
In the meantime, check out the theatrical trailer: