Before I Fall
February 12 is just another day in Sam’s charmed life until it turns out to be her last. Stuck reliving her last day over one inexplicable week, Sam untangles the mystery around her death and discovers everything she’s in danger of losing.
“Before I Fall” is a suspenseful and thought-provoking movie! Not all films can make that claim. Based on the novel by Lauren Oliver, the picture opens with a voiceover from the main character, Samantha Kingston (Zoey Deutch). She ominously speaks, saying, “Maybe there’s a tomorrow, maybe for you. So much time you can bathe in it—so much time you can waste it.” The audience soon learns that Samantha is waking up by her phone alarm, day after day, and reliving the day again.
She goes through the first day and is encouraged by her friends that “today is the day”—a day that will lead to the night in which she will lose her virginity. It is “Cupid Day”; roses are delivered to her classroom, and two arrive for her. One is from her steady boyfriend, Rob (Kian Lawley), and one is from a secret admirer, Kent (Logan Miller). In an interesting contrast, it is obvious that Rob only has one thing on his mind, while Kent seems genuinely interested in Samantha. Also obvious and clear, is that a girl named Juliet (Elena Kampouris) is unmercifully teased for being different. She is teased for not getting a rose for Cupid Day and is called “Psycho.” Tragedy strikes in two ways by 12:39 a.m., and once more, Samantha is awakened to relive the day. She attempts to make different choices, and on one of the days, she is the “rebellious” Samantha, dressing provocatively, sassing her parents, and telling off her friends.
One of the nice things about the movie is that she begins to realize she can change things—by being nice to her little sister and parents, by recognizing that Kent is a better match for her than Rob, and by reaching out to help Juliet, who seems bent on taking her own life. It is regrettable that the content, which includes underage drinking, prevents us from awarding our Dove Family-Approved Seal to the movie. But the redeeming quality of this film is its ability to help the viewer realize that people matter more than anything else, and that they are worth investing time in.