If I Stay

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If I Stay

Mia (Chloë Grace Moretz) is a seventeen-year-old whose life is starting to come together. An introverted high school cellist, she’s somehow managed to attract the attentions of the hottest dude in school, teenage rock star Adam (Jamie Blackley). Their love of music might be an obvious link – thuddingly obvious thanks to this film’s love of name-dropping at every possible opportunity – but it’s pretty clear there’s real passion between them. Bummer she’s already dead, hey?
Okay, she’s not exactly dead, but a car crash has left her in a coma – all the better to astral travel around checking out her mangled family and sobbing friends and relatives – while she tries to figure out whether she’s better off dead or should return to life even though that’s clearly going to be at least moderately difficult for a while to come.
Even if you’re a fan of Young Adult romance, the way this robotically ticks off all the boxes is kind of grim: there’s the introverted girl who a young stud falls for without her having to do anything, the life-threatening condition that allows everyone within a ten mile radius to tell the heroine she’s loved and special, and everything else is just loosely sketched in to pad things out to movie length.
Moretz has been great in a lot of films but she doesn’t get much to work with here (and not just because she’s in a coma for a lot of the film), and while this ends up doing the job it was made for, it’s hard not to wish it’d been made with a little more, well, life.