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This adaptation of Gayle Forman’s best-selling young adult novel from 2009 follows high school teen Mia (Chloe Grace Moretz), who is worrying about her boyfriend, college and stuff like that when an auto accident puts her into a coma.

The bulk of the film is told through flashbacks, which focus on Mia’s supportive aging-punk parents (Mireille Enos and Joshua Leonard) and her stormy romance with boyfriend, Adam (Jamie Blackley). These flashbacks are framed by Mia’s out-of-body experiences in the hospital as she wanders like a ghost. (And this is more than a little reminiscent of “The Lovely Bones.”)

“If I Stay” warmly captures the feel of a Portland family steeped in its musical community, and should be lauded for making teens consider the transitory nature of life, but the problems lie in the story’s lack of tension.

If I Stay (Ai ga Kaeru Basho)
Rating
Director R.J. Cutler
Language English
Opens Oct. 11

This is basically a high school romance film with a coma ladled on top, and any teen-rom that offers us a life-or-death choice in the first reel — does anyone really sit there till the last reel wondering whether or not there will be a final-love-conquers-all scene by the hospital bed? Thought not.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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