August 22, 2014 at 1:00 am

Review: 'If I Stay' filled with young love, tragedy and bushels of corn

Actress Chloë Grace Moretz plays a teenager in a coma in 'If I Stay.' (Doane Gregory / Warner Bros. Entertainment and Met)

Like “The Fault in Our Stars,” “If I Stay” is a teen angel movie — a film in which a teenager grapples with great tragedy and the specter of early death.

Unlike “The Fault in Our Stars,” “If I Stay” contains no dark comic sense or hard face-the-facts perspective. Here the corn grows tall, overshadowing all.

Chloë Grace Moretz stars as Mia Hall, a teen cello prodigy. Her father (Joshua Leonard) used to be in a popular Seattle rock band, but now he’s a music teacher. Mom (Mireille Enos) was dad’s grunged-out girlfriend, but now she’s mom. As parents go, label these two painfully hip.

Mia is a nobody at school until a budding young rock star, Adam (Jamie Blackley), becomes obsessed with her once he sees how passionate she is about her cello playing (and realizes she looks like Chloë Grace Moretz). They fall in teen love. But wait — he’s about to be a rock star and she’s auditioning for a prestigious music school. Can young love survive?

It doesn’t matter really, because a family outing turns into a horrific accident and suddenly cosmic Mia is standing outside her comatose mortal form, looking on as her body struggles to survive. Her family has been wiped out, her boyfriend is touring, she probably blew that audition anyway, why bother rousing her body back to consciousness? Why not just drift off into the ether?

Cosmic Mia spends a great deal of time running up and down hospital halls, invisible to everyone. Adam gets quite a few turns at the microphone, singing songs, because teenagers like songs. And this movie goes exactly where you know it will, to a weepy place of affirmation and spiritual uplift.

“If I Stay” (PG-13) A teen cellist (Chloe Grace Moretz) has to decide if she wants to live or die after an accident wipes out her family in this resolutely corny teen angel melodrama. (106 minutes) GRADE: C

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