Thursday, 4 September 2014

Films for Thoughts on Thursday: If I Stay


This is a weekly meme that I am hosting here at Reviews from a Bookworm. To take part all you have to do is share a movie review once a week, link back to Reviews from a Bookworm and add your link to the linky tool.


This weeks movie review will be for:


If I Stay


I really loved the book, so I was apprehensive about seeing the film. It's almost always guaranteed that what you about to watch is not going to do justice to the book you love. Sadly, that's very true for If I Stay. It's not a horrifically awful movie, but it's not an exceptionally good one either. It suffers from far too many cheesy moments, making it more about the romance than anything else and not capturing all the feelings you get from the book.

The movie follows the book quite well, it has small changes but not too many. It leaves a lot out though, which did upset me. It still all revolves around Mia and her out of body experience after being in a car accident. She watches as her body is taken to the hospital, as her family gather around to see if she'll wake up. But that decision is up to Mia, and it's a hard one to make. The accident steals a lot from her, so deciding to stay is a lot harder than you would think. Mia doesn't know if she's strong enough to do it.


The movie did squeeze a few tears from me, but it wasn't the uncontrollable sobbing that I got from the book. That was for a few reasons. The main one being that the movie concentrates way more on Mia's relationship with Adam, then it does on her relationship with her family. I loved getting to know her mother, father and brother in the book. I fell in love with those characters so much. You do get to know them in the movie, but it's not the same. I felt Teddy was a character that was really forgotten about when it came to adapting the novel, which is a real shame.

My main issue with the movie was just how unimaginably cheesy it was. I could not stop cringing whilst watching it. The romantic aspects to it were just too much, too over the top and I couldn't handle it. I am not good with overly romantic scenes in books and movies, I just can't handle them. This movie had so many between Mia and Adam, it all got a bit too much for me. I also laughed a lot at their scenes together, I don't think that's what they were trying to get me to feel. The movie definitely could have done without all the walking toward the light aspects, they were just too much. I openly cringed and groaned at so much of this movie, it's never good when a movie is a little too painful to watch.


I love Chloe Grace Moretz, I think she's a really talented actress. Unfortunately, I don't think she's the best casting choice for Mia. I didn't believe her as Mia at all. She just isn't able to pull of the shy, quiet girl who needs to be brought out of her shell. She's just a little too put together for that, even when she's playing the shy, retiring type. I really did want to love her as Mia, but I don't think she's suited to the role at all. I thought Jamie Blackley was quite good as Adam, but he wasn't really what I had imagined either. I think he was better cast than Moretz though. The one casting choice, other than Mia's parents, that I really applaud is Liana Liberato as Mia's best friend Kim, she played that role so well and was completely believable.

Mia's parents steal the show in the film, the same as they did in the movie. I just adored them both and absolutely loved the casting choices. I wouldn't change anything about their portrayals, I thought they did a perfect job and were just as I had imagined Mia's parents to be. They are the right amount of laid back, caring, loving and cool. They treat their children like adults a lot of the time, I loved the parents sense of humour and how they joked around with Teddy and Mia. It was just like the book, and I was so happy they captured the parents so perfectly.


What I really, really did enjoy about the movie, was the cello. I fell in love with the cello in this movie, and also realised just how often cellos appear in some of my favourite songs. I have this movie to thank for suddenly making me obsessed with the cello and how beautiful it sounds. And also to appreciate just how hard it must be to play.

I would have enjoyed the film a lot more if they had put more emphasis on family, and how hard it would be to say goodbye to them. I just felt like this movie was overpowered by the romance between Adam and Mia, and I wasn't a fan of that. They really smothered on the cheese, and I don't handle cheese well. So I spent a lot of this movie groaning, eye-rolling and having to look away from the screen. I wanted it to be more about Mia and her relationship with her mum, her dad and Teddy. Poor Teddy, we barely get to know him at all. It's such a shame, considering how brilliant a character he was in the books.

6/10 Butterflies

Far too much cheese for me to be able to handle. Wish they hadn't focused so much on Mia and Adam's relationship because it stops you getting to really know and love her family. I feel that the concentration on the romance aspect takes away from just how big a decision Mia has to make. It doesn't do justice to everything she's lost or would be losing. I thought it was okay, but it didn't do the book justice and it isn't something I'd want to watch again.





I have been meaning to take part in both of the following memes for a while now, so its nice to finally be able to get to them. I will be taking part in Reading is Fun Again's Thoughtful Thursday and Okay, Let's Read's  Thursday Thoughts, picking between them or doing both topics each week.


Audiobooks

Do you listen to audiobooks/Have you listened to an audiobook in the past? What books? Do you enjoy audiobooks? Why or why not? Are there certain genres that you feel might lend themselves better to being read in an audiobook form?

I have never listened to an audiobook, not one. I don't even know why. I love reading, I love the feel of a book in my hands. I just don't feel like listening to a book would be the same. I have been tempted to try audiobooks, I've just never gotten round to it. If I was going to start, it would probably be with Harry Potter. The ones that are read by Stephen Fry, just because it's combining two of my favourite things: Fry and Potter!

Bad Reviews

If you are planning to read a book, do bad reviews sway you to avoid the book?


They can, it depends on the reviewers reasons for not liking the book. It also depends on whether we have similar tastes. But, I know that everyone has different opinions on books. One I think it worthy of 0/5, someone else would rave about it and think it was the best thing they'd ever read. And vice versa. It would probably only sway me if it was a book I wasn't too fussed about reading. If it's a book I am desperate to read then I don't care how many negative reviews it has.





Five Friday Favourites: Favourite Book to Movie Adaptations
My Weekly Book Haul: 30/08/2014
I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson: 3/5 Review
Monthly Recap: August
Red Rising by Pierce Brown: 4.5/5 Review
If I Stay by Gayle Forman: 5/5 Review

22 comments:

  1. Aw, sucks about If I Stay. I haven't read the book yet, but the number #1 reason I'm interested in is because of the cello. Which is why I want to see the movie no matter what BECAUSE OF THE CELLO. It's a beautiful instrument and my favourite of ever. ^-^ Sad it's cheesy though. Dang. I always cringe at cheesy moments.

    I like audio books!! I like to draw so it gives my brain something to do...either that or I draw and half watch movies, which is always more tempting than the audio. ;) Trouble with audios though is a sucky narrator can spoil the whole book.

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    1. Yay! I am happy to find another cringer. It made watching this movie very painful, I kept having to hide in my hands. I don't do well with all the cheesy romance moment.

      The cello was my favourite part!!!

      Yeah, I tried one once but the narrators voice was so hideous that I gave up after about two minutes. I haven't been tempted to try another one since.

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  2. If I remember rightly, the Stephen Fry Harry Potter audiobooks are really good. I only listened to the first one, but still, I really enjoyed it. But I only really find time for audiobooks because I crochet and I want to read and crochet, but it doesn't really work. So, audiobooks! Or when I'm doing something girly like painting my nails...

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    1. I like to use my exercise bike but never do because it's too hard to read whilst I do it. An audiobook would probably be the perfect solution, maybe I should give one a try.

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  3. I really do want to see this and I am hoping since it has been so long ago that I read the book I will like it even more than those that have read it recently. I do love though that even if you didn't like the actors who played some of the parts, you still liked the movie. That is saying a lot about it overall and just makes me even more excited to see it.

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    1. It's a pretty good film overall, I just don't think it did the book justice. It was a little too painful to watch at times. But it was okay, definitely not the worst film I have ever seen.

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  4. Sometimes cheesy can work for me but ack it can go so wrong so easily. I don't usually see movies based on books I've read since they're so hard to find well done ones.

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    1. It really came. I can't deal with cheese, I cringe and it makes the movie very hard to watch.

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  5. I'm the same way about romance; I can take okay it as a subplot, but I'm generally not big on it. Actually, that's why I haven't read the book yet--I've heard great things about it, but I figured the romance would be too overpowering. But your review makes it seem like that isn't the case, so maybe I should finally get around to giving it a chance.

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    1. I think romance is okay, as long as it's not the main plot point. I definitely prefer my books to have more to them than that. This does have a lot to do with the romance, but I never felt like it was the whole point to the story. For me, it's always more about Mia and who she is without her family or without Adam. And what she can bear to lose. I love this book, I highly recommend it.

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  6. I really agree with you on the casting for If I Stay, AND the fact the parents' actors NAILED it. And YES for the girl who played Kim- she was awesome. And the grandpa. That is when I cried- every scene with the parents or Teddy, and then the grandpa, he was pretty great. I didn't see Chloe as Mia either, but the dude that played Adam really didn't do it for me. He kind of skeeved me out a little, honestly. And I felt like the way they showed their relationship went from "meh" to full on cheese way too quickly. Great review, I totally agree!

    -Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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    1. Yay! I was starting to feel like I was the only person who wasn't happy with this adaptation. I think Chloe is a great actress, she's just not a great Mia. I wasn't sold on Adam either, I thought he was good as far as performing in the band, but he wasn't what I imagined Adam to be like. The parents, grandfather, Teddy and Kim were perfectly cast for me, they were the actors who brought me to tears too.

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  7. I'm not really tempted to pick up the book, so I think I will just go ahead and see the movie! :)

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  8. I haven't seen this yet, and this review confirms my fears for the movie being cheesey and overly focused on romance. I hate the thought of Teddy especially being so marginalized, ugh. Mia's family is such an important part of the book!

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    1. Teddy really isn't given that huge a role, which really disappointed me. I loved him in the book, and Mia's relationship with him. I think it was the hardest part of her decision of whether to stay or go. Instead they kind of make it all about Adam and Julliard. I was pretty disappointed in the end.

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  9. Bummer! The romance was there in the book, but it really was about so much more. I'll probably still see it, but like you I'll be rolling my eyes at the over-the-top cheese.

    That bad reviews question is an interesting one. Bad reviews can affect if I read a book depending on what they found as bad. If they say that the storyline was all over the place or nothing made sense or there was insta-love in the first chapter, or lots of mature content... Those are things that turn me off a book. If it's just that they didn't like it or didn't connect... Those I still try out if I already want to read them because we all connect to books differently.

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    1. I can't handle all the cheese, it really makes me cringe when I am watching it.

      Negative reviews can sway me depending on what they didn't like about the book. I also think it depends on the reviewer and whether I trust their opinion.

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  10. I actually enjoyed the movie and thought it stayed pretty true to the book, but they obviously had to cut some things and I guess decided to focus more on the romance. I've heard multiple people note how cheesy the romance was. For some reason, I didn't think it was too cheesy, I thought it was sweet. I didn't love the movie or anything, but I thought it was a good adaptation.

    Audiobooks…I have tried, but I don't like them. I'm the same way, I love reading, I don't want to be read to. Also, I read fast and an audiobook takes FOREVER. And then the voices…they never sound right and I just get annoyed. Not to mention that I only read one book at a time, so am I supposed to sit on the sofa and listen to a book? That feels weird. Everyone I know that loves audiobooks reads multiple books at once and listen to the audiobooks when they're exercising or cleaning or commuting to work, etc. But if I'm loving a book, I can't imagine just listening to it for a short period of time and then getting home and picking up another book. So no, they're not for me.

    Bad reviews…it depends. If it's part of a series and I love the series, I'm reading the book no matter what. If it's an author I love, I'm reading the book no matter what. But if it's an author I've never read and it's a book that's on my Goodreads TBR list and there are a ton of negative reviews, I'm going to push it down the list, which means I may not end up reading it. ~Pam

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    1. I cringed so much watching the film, it was so painful to watch. But I'm not a huge fan of romance in film anyway, I cringe far too easily!!! :)

      I don't think audiobooks would work for me, especially when they take so much longer to read them then I would. I don't like the voices either, they don't work for me.

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  11. Totally get what you mean about the romance vs. family aspect. But I felt like If I Stay the book told two stories: This developing but inconvienant love that's blossoming between Adam and Mia, and this horrible accident that happens to Mia and her family. While the first story is like "hello, love" the second story is like "goodbye, family". Both is just so freaking amazing and wonderful and I think make If I Stay (the book) so brilliant.

    I just don't think they could've fit in both in the movie and done either justice, so they chose the love because it's a happier thing in the midst of this tragedy. I don't know, maybe it's because I love the romance of it all.

    But anyway, the last scene made me lose my shit. I was so freaking pissed. I won't spoil it for anyone but grrr. I wish they would've stuck to the book for that scene because that's the ultimate sacrifice, not the version they did in the movie.

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    1. Exactly, and the two stories just work so well together. I loved the book so much, I just felt quite disappointed by the movie and didn't think it pulled it off right.

      The end scene really bugged me too. I was not a fan and it just really pissed me off. At least I wasn't the only one.

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