Family Movies News

'If I Stay': Decisions, Decisions… Just Do It!

Decisiveness is such a wonderful quality. I’ve been watching the magic of certainty my entire life... thanks to my older brother. That’s right, making choices is excruciating for me. I remember my brother and I being in a toy store as children, he picked out his toy immediately. An hour later, my exasperated family gave up and chose a game for me. By 12, my brother knew what career path he wanted to follow, went out and did it. I lost a decade meandering through odd jobs before my career finally found me. Later my brother spotted a girl at a party and said, “That’s the girl I’m going to marry,” and then did. Me, well, it took me a couple of tries to get it right.

In If I Stay, Mia (Chloe G. Moretz) also struggles with indecisiveness. She can’t decide where go to college and labors over the decision of whether to agree to go on a date. Then, suddenly, she’s put into a position of making the biggest decision of all: if she should live or die. She had been blessed with the world’s most awesome family, who are killed in a car accident that leaves Mia in a coma. During an out-of-body experience she must decide: will life be too painful as the sole survivor? Or should she bear that pain to pursue the joys of life?

"Should I have the mac & cheese or stick to a salad? I did skip the gym..."

Some kids, like my brother, are decisive. Other kids are as I was, paralyzed by choices -- afraid of what they could lose by making the wrong decision. I’ve finally come up with a way to manage my SlidingDoorsanoia: just say yes. Obviously, some qualifiers exist, but I tell my kids: as long as it’s legal and doesn’t put you or your health in danger, it’s always more fun to say yes. Go to an event, volunteer, take an interesting class, go hang out with friends, taste an unfamiliar dish… saying yes is saying yes to life.

Here are your choices of movies to see with the family this weekend:

When the Game Stands Tall. The story of the real-life De La Salle Spartans, the sports world’s winningest team, is a shining example to kids that the qualities we parents try to instill in them – responsibility, accountability, dependability, commitment and humility – actually bring success.

The Giver. Junior high students, rejoice! The required reading fave which asks “Is ignorance really bliss?” finally makes it to the big screen with Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges bringing the gravitas and Taylor Swift bringing the excitement.

The Hundred-Foot Journey: This Oprah and Steven Spielberg production is about more than a culture clash, mouthwatering food, and incredible scenery: it’s about family. This is the rare multigenerational film that will entertain tweens to grandparents.

Read Tara’s parent reviews at Find out what kids think about these movies at, where all kids are movie critics!






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