The film industry is nothing if not predictable. Popular YA novel. Check. Tragic romantic angst. Check. Rising indie stars. Check. Sure-fire blockbuster. Maybe (just ask Alex Pettyfer). Every movie is a calculated gamble to find the next Jennifer Lawrence or Robert Pattinson. The releases of The Fault in Our Stars (TFIOS) and If I Stay do not stray too far from the formula (Shailene Woodley is already a BFD). However, there is always a risk audiences will not connect, and based on the two films trailer, it’s anybody’s guess. But I still have my thoughts.
Release Date: In an over saturated market, sometimes being the first is the best. TFIOS will be released two months ahead of If I Stay, which could work in its favor for audience reception (plus, John Green). On the other hand, If I Stay, could benefit from the separation in release dates as audiences will have had enough time to move on from TFIOS. Hopefully.
Are you dating in real life?: Chloe Grace Moretz (Mia Hall) and relative unknown Jamie Blackley (Adam) are really gunning for Teen Choice Award’s Choice Movie: Chemistry. The duo are believable as a couple in love who are torn apart by tragedy. Perhaps, part of the problem is Ansel Elgort (Augustus Waters) can’t match Shailene Woodley’s (Hazel Grace Lancaster) acting. He has all the right moony faces, but lacks substance.
Mood Setter: Trailer music is always underrated. Both use background songs to set very two different tones … even with one being about cancer and the other a horrific car crash. If I Stay relies on the hugely popular “Say Something” to invoke plenty of sad feels, and TFIOS focuses on the more upbeat with “What You Wanted.” Don’t let the latter deceive you, the book requires at least one box of tissues to get through.
Supporting Heavyweights: From the wildly successful The Hunger Games to the unmentionable Eragon, older and more established actors are brought in to give credibility. TFIOS has Laura Dern (Jurassic Park, Enlightened), and If I Stay has Mireille Enos (World War Z, The Killing). Dern’s career is much more established, but Enos is a rising star who proves Hollywood isn’t just a 20-something game. You can’t go wrong either way.
Blockbust(er) Potential: I don’t like indecisive opinions. Here’s what I think. Both films will do fine at theaters. Whether either breaks records is debatable. TFIOS has the potential with all the buzz (just look at this article), but keeping that alive after the first weekend could be hard. If I Stay has the right feel but, one wrong move, and it can go from heartbreaking and sweet to melodramatic and overacted. Smartly, both the trailers give just enough to leave audiences eager to read up on the Internet for any information they can find.
Worst Pickup Line: “I hope you realize you trying to keep your distance from me in no way lessens my affection for you.” – Augustus Waters, TFIOS
Maybe it’s the man, maybe it’s the line, but Ansel Elgort needed a few more takes to sell that convincingly.
(Photo courtesy on homepage: Speak/Amazon)
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