According to Chloë Grace Moretz’s brief bio on IMDb, her father was a plastic surgeon. It is alarming to think that a not-yet-mature actress might already have had her features ‘enhanced’ (her top lip suggests it’s so), but that’s showbiz, I guess.
Moretz made a name for herself as Mindy in the Kick Ass movies and she shows what she is capable of in this better-than-average teen romance. She plays Mia, a gifted student of the cello, living in Oregon, whose dream is to be enrolled in the exclusive Juilliard School in distant New York.
She meets and falls for Adam (Jaimie Blackley), singer/songwriter in a band about to make it big.
Tragedy strikes when she, her parents and little brother Teddy are involved in a head-on collision. After the introductory scenes, the story is told from the frantic PoV of Mia’s spirit as she rushes around the corridors of the hospital that has responded to the accident.
The relationship of the young lovers is charted in flashbacks as Mia, unseen by all, discovers what hand fate has dealt her.
In a coma, her corporeal self must find the will to survive. It is a strangely metaphysical approach for what might otherwise have been a standard account of boy-meets-girl, with a bit of gender politics thrown into the mix.
As in Begin Again, music takes a prominent part in everybody’s journey – Mia’s father was the drummer in a punk band.
There is a truckload of soppiness in the script, as you’d expect, and Blackley is rather too nice and polite to be a late-night rabble-rouser, but at its core lies an undeniable and warming truthfulness.
Mia learns the hardest way of all what a priceless gift life is and that love is the only currency that matters when determining its worth – it’s a timeless message.
Mireille Inos and Joshua Leonard are particularly good as Mia’s folks and the veteran Stacy Keach kicks in with a sensitive performance as Gramps. I liked it a lot.
~ John Campbell