Last updated on July 22nd, 2018 at 05:40 pm
Before I Fall is the type film which makes you want to read the book. For you can tell there was probably quite a bit cut which would have, in a rare fashion, made the movie even better.
Characters & Storyline
Sam (Zoey Deutch) is a high school senior part of a foursome. One which includes Lindsay (Halston Sage), Elody (Medalion Rahimi), and Ally (Cynthy Wu). They have been friends since sometime in middle school or early high school and they adore each other. Problem is, while kind to one another, they can be quite cruel to others. One girl, in particular, Juliet (Elena Kampuris), they are especially mean to. But why does she matter? It’s high school and the girls are popular, Sam is about to lose her virginity to Rob (Kian Lawley), and then a car crash happens.
Yet, no one is hurt or dead. Instead, Sam finds herself repeating the day of the crash, the Friday before Valentine’s Day, over and over. Leaving us, the viewer, stuck with her trying to figure out what could break the loop.
It Gets Better With Time
During the first loop, well the first couple, this movie will seem a bit boring. However, Deutch is able to push past that thanks to her having the ability to create touching heartfelt moments with the cast. Something which begins just with establishing how the four girls seem like normal teenagers, who are horribly privileged and have gone through so much together. So much that, by the end of the movie, despite some of the things we learn about Lindsay, you come to accept it.
But, refocusing on Deutch, she is the knot which binds everything. Her scenes with her character’s little sister Izzy (Erica Tremblay) were so precious. Add that to how she interacted with her character’s mom and how she connected with each character who had a life, honestly, it may reduce you to tears. For the way she looks at them, the way she reaffirms what they mean to her and how important they are, you feel it. It is like she is channeling the spirit of Oprah and talking to these people. And, for some reason, it is like she is talking to you.
It Has A Lot Of Generic Elements
While Deutch does well in this film, she is going against a huge slew of generic elements. First off you have the fact everyone is rich. They are rich, spoiled, catty, and privileged. On top of that, sadly those who are people of color in this film, as usual with young adult novel adaptations, they are the ones who get developed the least. For outside of learning Ally likes to learn things and how Elody is down for whatever, you don’t learn much besides that. In comparison, Lindsay’s life you almost feel like was cut down for the sake of the movie. Heck, even if you want to talk about moments which may make you emotional, Izzy got more screen time with Deutch and was given time to seem like more than Sam’s kid sister.
On The Fence
You Maybe Left Wishing The Loops Developed Sam’s Friends More
Leading to what has me on the fence. Similar to Re:zero, with each death, or in Sam’s case, each time she wakes up, it is a new loop, a new day, new possibilities. With that, we get to see her just spend a day with Izzy, try to reconcile after a fight with her mom, get closer to this boy named Kent (Logan Miller) who has a crush on her, but not so much with Elody and Ally. Which, I know, probably sounds like a rehash of the criticism. But I must admit, maybe there was a reason Ally and Elody were shortchanged? Could it be that maybe the actresses didn’t have the skill needed to craft the same connection? I mean, the main reason for the criticism was because I would like to see more out of people in color in films like this. But with neither Wu nor Rahimi really popping while on screen, maybe we didn’t miss anything?
Overall: Mixed (Home Viewing)
While Deutch shines and definitely shows she has something worth more movies, and maybe series, taking advantage of, arguably she is without worthy peers in this movie. Which, when combined with the overdone and familiar elements of this film, keep it from being something noteworthy. For the whole Mean Girls angle has been done to death and while the looping, Groundhog Day, narrative was put to good use, it isn’t enough to say you must see this. The film definitely has its moments, but unless you are willing to give Deutch time to build up her character and setup the touching moments, you will get bored quickly. To the point that you may see this as a future Netflix & Chill type of movie.