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"If I Stay" Touching, but Confusing
Opting for the simultaneous three-way perspective, the film cannot elicit the supernatural shivers of a teen "Ghost" or an inspirational intensity of her between two worlds choice. That's not a fatal impairment , rather one that often depletes empathy yet strongly celebrates the love and talent of the young woman for her family, friends, and Adam (Jamie Blackley) who's the focus of her earthly talent versus true young love dilemma.
Telling her life story in flashback makes for some awkward jolts, in fact, unless you have your eyes firmly focused you could miss a brisk, subtle flash of her ultimate decision.
Moretz mostly handles well the challenging ethereal hospital hallways well rotating from 'can't see her' poker faced, non interactive observer emotions and a few desperately devoted to Adam moments. What's difficult for her are capturing the spirit of a woman fighting to live (or deciding to pass to the heavens) . Fortunately, her wardrobe (and occasional diffused lighting on some close ups) delineate her temporarily stranded status.
Imperfect, yes. You could make a determination that Mia and Adam's romance on its own demonstrates sensitivity, courage and sacrifice often overlooked in down to earth real life drama. Similarly, I score many of the scenes surrounded by tragedy emotionally floundering than poignant.