Based on the novel by Lauren Oliver, “Before I Fall” is a coming of age film that takes a supernatural twist on the saying “live everyday like it’s your last.” The movie follows the typical “it” girl as she continues to relive one of the last days of her life, figuring out how to stop it.
Set in the Pacific Northwest, Samantha Kingston, played by actress Zoey Deutch, is a high school senior who dominates the teenage population along with three of her closest friends. She seems to have it all: great friends, a great boyfriend, and a potentially perfect future ahead of her. But Sam’s life and future are jeopardized when her and her friends appear to die in a car accident.
The film highlights the common stereotypes seen in a high school setting and the unique interactions between them. At first, the viewer is exposed to these various characters at a glance, only to later realize they are the key individuals who can help Sam stop the living nightmare.
The specifics causing the main character to relive the day of her death were not entirely clarified for the viewer. However, for book lovers, the film adaptation closely resembles Oliver’s young-adult novel. Additionally, a forewarning to families heading out to see this film, the dialogue is somewhat strong for children under the age of 14.
In this teenage “Groundhog Day,” Sam eventually realizes she needs to seek outside of herself and fix the relationships with family, friends and peers. The character development and overall transformation in the life-and-death journey is truly moving. This well-acted movie delivers a meaningful message on the importance of second chances and redemption.