The title refers to Mia's fraught decision-should she cling to existence or just give up?-and, well before the end, even loyal viewers will be begging her to hurry up and choose.
Documentarian R.J. Cutler, in his feature debut, joins Moretz in delivering this pap as if it meant something. Cue eye rolling.
For a drama pretty much aimed at 12-year-old girls, this is less superficial than you'd expect.
The heroine lies in the coma, but the audience may feel brain-dead by the end of If I Stay.
You want these people to have real challenges and messiness. But their lives don't quite feel lived in; they feel exemplary.
[Moretz's] grounded, naturalistic presence goes a long way toward making mushy material palatable.
If I Stay is true to principle in one significant regard: It makes no concessions to anyone outside its teenage female cohort.
Moretz has a nicely calibrated energy and intensity, and the teen romance ups-and-downs of Mia and Adam's relationship - are they really soul mates, or will he drop her when the right groupie shambles along? - feel authentically OMG-ish.
Plays like a high school version of 'Ghost.'