Monday, September 22, 2014

BTM REVIEW: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Book Title: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Movie Title: If I Stay

If I Stay by Gayle Forman was recently made into a movie, so I went to see it with my sister.


So past that, here we go with the book to movie.


The movie did a great job with keeping *most* of the characters pretty true to themselves. I appreciated that, and it translated well into film. The greater part of the story and the action was fairly true to the book, and I liked that they didn't add in a ton of nonsense.


KIM. Oh, my sweet Kim, what have they done with you? Kim in the book is a fantastic character. She has her quirks and her flaws, and they... were all but erased in the movie. Book Kim wears a braid at all times to keep her hair under control and is from a strict Jewish family. Movie Kim has sleek loose hair and mentions nothing about her family or religion. Apparently no one told the stylist that the braid was a huge character point. Book Kim wanted to be a photographer, but after she threw up in a helicopter, realized she needed to rethink. This doesn't merit a mention in the movie.

THE ACCIDENT. It happened so quickly in the movie that you don't see anything. In the book, Mia sees her parents dead on the scene. It's a big moment, and it's erased in the film. I understand that maybe they didn't want to show her dad's brain, but there's a way to show it without being overly gory.

TEDDY. In the book, Teddy is at a different hospital. Mia doesn't see him. She has no idea what's happening with him until Willow shows up. It was sweet to see Mia promising Teddy he wouldn't be alone, but it also was unnecessary.

MIA'S REACTIONS. All her crying/freaking out moments while in "ghost form" were overdone to the point of being ridiculous. The spinning and overdramatic slo-mos ruined the very real pain of the moment. It made her grief less believable.

ADAM GETTING IN. In the book, Adam tries a few different things to get in to see Mia. Eventually, Kim helps him, and he causes a distraction with a rock star. This sadly was ignored in the movie in favor of Mia hearing music and following it back to the room.

HEAVEN. Mia sees a bridge, and she considers going over to the other side. This doesn't happen in the movie.

MUSIC. Adam's band is called Shooting Star. I really don't understand why there was any reason to change it. Seriously? Irritating. I also don't understand why they chose the music they did for the movie. It was, by and large, not music either Mia or Adam or her family listened to. It often had very little to do with the plot, and I think if Mia was a real person she would be intensely pissed.

KERRY. His is the first funeral Mia ever went to, and it ends up being kind of important when she's considering staying or going, but it is nonexistent in the movie.


I'm glad I went to see it, but it was pretty awful. A lot of what I loved was completely erased or altered beyond the point of recognition, and it was just completely disappointing. I would not go see it again, and I have no intentions of watching it when it comes out on dvd either.

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