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Review – Before I Fall

Before I Fall Poster

Before I Fall Poster

#SadGroundhogDay is based on the young adult novel by Lauren Oliver.

Samantha (Zoey Deutch) is a popular girl at her highschool who seems to have everything going for her. Until she’s killed in a car crash. That’s just the beginning of her ordeal, however, as she finds herself reliving her final day on earth over and over again, forcing her to re-evaluate just who she is and what is really important.

Unlike the easily referenced Groundhog Day, this story takes the tried and true “repeat a day” formula and plays it not for laughs, but for tears as it seems there is no possible happy outcome here. While we do get the inevitable “do whatever I want” version of the day, most of the days simply serve to make Samantha realize just how much she dislikes who she and her friends are, and how she wishes she had more time to do something about it. As each day brings to light more and more about those around her, she begins to realize just why it might be that she’s been damned in this way and what she should do about it.

Heavier and more straightforward about the ugly side of teenhood than many teen flicks, Before I Fall serves up some valuable perspective to those who might need to pause in front of the mirror longer than to just admire their hair. It’s sentimental but doesn’t go overboard with syrup, and stays rather straightforward and grounded despite the high concept premise. The story may be about teens, but there are reasons for tear yanking from even older members of the audience who will find things to relate to.

I didn’t find the film or story to be that original, and some of it is fairly predictable as it becomes pretty clear where things are headed. It’s well executed, though, and there is at least one moment that legitimately shocked me as realization struck towards the end. I also appreciated that the story doesn’t get hung up on the how or what of the repeating day. It just happens because it needs to, we don’t have to understand it beyond that, and neither does Samantha.

I do have to lodge the standard complaint of highschool students being played mostly by twenty-somethings who look too old for the part, though it’s not nearly as bad as other films have been. (I’m looking at you, especially, Percy Jackson). It’s something we have to expect with movies like this, unfortunately, and so is a relatively small complaint. I found the film to be quite effective at getting its points across, well done, and it has something worthwhile to say. It’s a tissue-requisite film for sure, and you might want to rethink it as a date movie despite the Cupid Day setting.

Mrs. Hamster says:

“I don’t remember the book that well, but I liked the movie and I think it was a good adaptation.”

Brother Hamster did not screen this film

My rating: Four out of five hats

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Trailer:

Before I Fall appears in 2,346 March 3 Before I Fall appears in 2,346 March 3 Before I Fall appears in 2,346 March 3 Before I Fall appears in 2,346 March 3 Before I Fall appears in 2,346 March 3 Before I Fall appears in 2,346 March 3 Before I Fall appears in 2,346 March 3 Before I Fall appears in 2,346 March 3 Before I Fall appears in 2,346 March 3 Before I Fall appears in 2,346 March 3 Before I Fall appears in 2,346 March 3 Before I Fall appears in 2,346 March 3 Before I Fall appears in 2,346 March 3 Before I Fall appears in 2,346 March 3

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