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Linklater pushes aside any notion of melodrama, thus allowing the characters and stories to reveal themselves in their own way. He has found in Coltrane an exceptional talent, and it's a talent that helps transform his novel idea into an outstanding film that transcends the usual drama paradigm into something that exciting and exhilarating in its own incomparable way. Just go in with an open mind and you'll come out with an open heart.
It obviously goes without saying that if you are anyone other than a teenage girl listening to One Direction, most of what is happening in If I Stay is likely going to be a struggle to take too seriously. Like every other teen-lit adapted, soapy melodrama, this is yet another example of a film perfectly constructed to deliver exactly what you'd expect. Every 'young love' cliché and every formulaic narrative beat are trotted out in obvious, succinct succession, that it's virtually impossible for the less enamoured portion of the audience to procure any real surprises.
Like 2014's equivalent, but arguably superior, A Fault in Our Stars, this also won't win over the detractors. Yet despite how clearly melancholy tinged this is, If I Stay does at the very least provide some decent enough, semi-wholesome characters and a semi-interesting story to tide over those so inclined.