Top Ten Tuesday: Reasons We Enjoyed “If I Stay” movie

If I Stay
We love coming up with our top ten list each Tuesday, but this week we had other things on our minds. One of our favorite books, “If I Stay” by Gayle Forman, was finally turned into a film and opened in theaters this past weekend. Even though critical reviews were mixed, we both enjoyed the movie (and Sandie is a critic). If you haven’t seen it, go see it and support a beloved YA book’s adaptation. Some adaptations aren’t worth supporting, but this one is! Here are 10 reasons we liked it!

1. Hearing Mia play the cello: One of the things I loved about Mia is how much a part of her the cello was, and I couldn’t wait to get to actually watch her play. I was not disappointed. I know that Chloe Grace Moretz wasn’t really playing (although Sandie says she did do a six months of intensive cello lessons), but it didn’t matter, the effect was amazing. For me, it was Mia. -Diana

2. Adam and Mia mix it up: One of my favorite moments in the book is the Halloween when Adam and Mia swap musical genres. Adam assures Mia that while she looked amazing pretending to be Debbie Harry, he didn’t need her to be “punk” just herself. And the movie captured that adorable moment. -Sandie

IF I Stay photos
3. Watching Adam play with his band: So if you haven’t seen the movie, the music wasn’t exactly what I (or most of his fans) expected, but it was still really cool to get to see “Adam” jam with his band (even if the music is more singer-songwritery than the book describes). -Diana

4.  The little “Where She Went” joke: I know it’s a tiny line, but I love the conversation when Mia asks Adam why he hasn’t written a song for her, and he says he can’t write about things that make him happy. So then she asks, “What would I have to do for a whole album?” — and of course those of us who’ve read “Where She Went” know the answer! -Sandie

5.  Mia’s parents: We both thought that Joshua Leonard and Mireille Enos were fantastic as Mia’s parents. They did a great job playing ex-punk rockers/hipster Oregon parents. They were favorites in the book, and I enjoyed seeing these characters come to life in the film.  -Diana

6. This fight scene (watch below): It’s not from the book, but I’m glad the movie showed that Adam and Mia had misunderstandings and trouble dealing with their possible upcoming separations. They obviously loved each other, but they were musicians and needed to do what was best for their music, even if it meant she would go to New York without him.  - Sandie

7.  Mia’s grandfather: The scenes with Mia’s grandfather (played by Stacy Keach) were so powerful, particularly that one moment when he tells her it would be okay to let go under the horrific circumstances. Yes, it’s a tearjerker, but it’s one of the scenes that really stood out for me. -Diana

8. Mia’s audition scene: I loved this scene, because Mia is so passionate in her playing and looks up at the ceiling and remembers how Adam plastered her room’s ceiling with a copy of the hall’s ceiling. So sweet. -Sandie

9. Mia’s “Perfect Day” (watch below): I loved this part in the book and so did my son. We both talked about how much we wanted to see it. In fact we were both afraid they had cut that scene. So when it finally happened we nudged each other. We really enjoyed seeing the family and friends jam together — Mia on her cello, Adam on his guitar with her parents’ closest pals. -Diana

10.  The love scenes: No, not in a prurient way, but I thought the movie handled the scenes well. Actually, I wasn’t a huge fan of the “play me” scene in the book. I can only imagine how confusing it was for younger readers. I thought the filmmakers did a lovely job of making the first time sweet while keeping in the musical cues. -Sandie

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