Groundhog Day? Source Code? Edge of Tomorrow?
Before I Fall takes the very familiar concept of a character stuck reliving the same day over and over again, while everyone in their world has their memory wiped. Except this time, it’s in high school!
Going through this movie, I completely missed the point and had to go to Wikipedia’s always immaculate plot description to find what I wasn’t getting. The entire duration of this story I thought protagonist Samantha Kingston (Zooey Deutch, daughter of Lorraine McFly!) was simply trying to find her way to her tomorrow.
But the number one source for college papers told me that Samantha had died in the car crash she and her nasty group of friends were in after an end-of-year kegger. “I can’t believe high school is almost over!”
When our journey begins, Samantha is a horrible person who disrespects her family and terrorizes one of her schoolmates, with the aid of her fellow plastics. Her boyfriend is a stripey, button up shirt, backwards baseball cap looking dude who seems like the type of guy that would punch you for bumping into him in a pub, but he’s hardly important.
Essentially, the entire point of this story is that Samantha must make her final day on earth count, and have the most positive possible impact on every person in her world. Of course, it takes plenty of trial and error to figure out what exactly she must do to get there.
Overall, this isn’t a tale that speaks to me much on a personal level, but it is a film that could greatly benefit modern teenage girls (Snapchat alert!) We see a lesson and empathy just as strong for the popular bullies as we do for their victims. If this movie makes just one adolescent oppressor look at her world differently, or convinces a tortured youth that everything will eventually be okay, then it has done it’s job.