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August 22, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

You get the feeling that if critics brought Kleenex and handkerchiefs with them to the press screenings of If I Stay, they went unused. Several suggest that passionate dialogue that works on the printed page of a teen novel becomes downright silly when actually spoken on a giant screen. To Peter Keough of the Boston Globe the movie is "a mawkish, preposterous melodrama riddled with cliches, stereotypes, bad dialogue, and inept emotional manipulation" that left audiences giggling at the end. Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal reacted similarly. "What works for readers, left free to produce their own versions of fantasy devices, can be gigglesome for audiences confronted with a film’s prefab liberalism," he wrote. Elizabeth Weitzman admits in the New York Daily News that she "went though half a pack of Kleenex watching If I Stay." However, she added, "Know this: those tears are no more honestly earned than if director R.J. Cutler had merely been chopping onions in front of me." Reaction to the performance of star Chloë Grace Moretz as a 17-year-old cellist who undergoes an out-of-body experience following an auto crash. Hers is "an irresistible performance," comments Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times. If the movie is "weep-worthy, it is largely because of her," writes A.O. Scott in the New York Times. But Claudia Puig in USA Today calls her performance "rather lackluster." Sara Stewart in the New York Post merely notes that Moretz "has little to do here." And Walter V,. Addiego concludes in the San Francisco Chronicle: "Moretz is an appealing young woman whose star is rising. She’ll probably have an exceptional career, but If I Stay won’t be a highlight."