Before I Fall exceeds expectations


A still from the new film that exceeded the expectations of viewers all over the U.S.

Julianne Sun and Stephanie Chen, News Editor and Reviews Editor

“Samantha Kingston (Zoey Deutch) seems to have it all: popularity, a loving boyfriend (Kian Lawley) and a seemingly perfect future. Everything changes in the blink of an eye when she dies in a car crash but then magically wakes up to find herself reliving the same day over and over again. As Samantha tries to untangle the mystery of a life derailed, she must also unravel the secrets of the people closest to her and discover how the power of a single day can make a difference.” This is the synopsis given on Google for the young adult film Before I Fall, based on the novel by Lauren Oliver. The impression this description gives is another typical teen drama full of clichés. However, the film surpasses this expectation with a new insight on young entertainment.

The critic consensus on Rotten Tomatoes says that “Before I Falls’ familiar ingredients are enlivened by a fresh YA perspective”. While the film includes the typical high school drama, the usual friendship moments, and a hint of romance, it has a greater focus on character and correcting past mistakes. Through the many repetitions of her “last” day, Samantha truly reflects on herself as a person and how she has treated others in the past. For those who fell in love with Eleven Birthdays written by Wendy Mass, Before I Fall is similar, but better. “Director Russo-Young finds ways of making the day in question feel fresh each time Sam lives it, while giving the overall presentation a look, feel, and voice that’s distinct from the vast swatch of YA movies,” says Peter Debruge, Chief Film Critic from the Sundance Institute. Few young adult films can send across the kind of message that this one does. YA entertainment is no longer a flighty, high-school-romance genre, not with Before I Fall in its armory.

Before I Fall does, however, tend to over exaggerate the many aspects of high school life like drinking, drugs, and teenage partying. The overdone casualness with which these topics are talked about can be off-putting at certain moments, particularly in the first run of Samantha’s “last” day. It is to be expected, of course: a teen movie written by adults is bound to be at least a little bit overdone. Despite everything, these little slips still fail to eclipse the power of Before I Fall. Kudos to Russo-Young for this outstanding film; Before I Fall has given the young adult entertainment industry a new face. For those of you considering watching this movie, I recommend that you prepare yourselves for a night of emotional shock and tears. Beautifully crafted, this is a movie that will stand the test of time.