Hope you haven’t had your fill of beautiful yet tragically ill teens this week because Warner Bros. has a pretty young corpse heading your way soon. A special in-depth look into the mind of a girl stuck somewhere between the living and the dead – she’s not a girl, not yet a ghost-woman – has popped up to make us dive back into our crumpled tissue collection and pull out the old “raining on our faces” excuse. You may recall the full trailer for R.J. Cutler’s If I Stay a couple months back, the story of a 17-year-old girl whose near-perfect life comes to a halt when she’s the victim of a devastating car crash along with her entire immediate family.
We’re talking Nicholas Sparks-level schmaltz here people. Mia (Chloe Moretz) is a gifted cellist who has just auditioned for Julliard, has a loving family, tons of friends and a boyfriend who runs with the wild crowd and actually is a pretty decent dude. It’s particularly unfair, then, that this horrific car crash sends her into a deep coma that gives her the ultimate choice: walk into that bright light at the end of the tunnel, or keep fighting and stay here on Earth to wake up to another day.
The newly released teaser below, called “Prologue” for reasons that shall become obvious, goes into more detail than the trailer in attempting to explain Mia’s dilemma here. Mia’s parents (Mireille Enos and Joshua Leonard) have died in the crash, so staying alive would be horrible, but dying and leaving her boyfriend, Adam (Jamie Blackley) and little brother behind to venture into the great beyond doesn’t seem like a great prospect, either.
The effect of seeing the flashes of her happy life mixed with the anguish of the tragedy, set to the tune of M83’s “Outro” makes this seem like a beautiful music video, but it’s doing its job. If a teenager were thrust into a situation as bizarre and horrific as the one being depicted, wouldn’t a montage of concerts and lingering questions and Instagram-worthy shots be the background to her problems? Understandably, Mia has many queries about her current situation, but as anybody who has ever watched even a single episode of Grey’s Anatomy could tell her, you obviously get out of your out-of-body state of being by just waking up in your hospital bed the next day.
If I Stay crashes into theaters on August 22nd.