Saturday, March 18, 2017

Before I Fall

Plot: Sam (Zoey Deutch) gets up, goes to school, gets flowers from admirers on Valentine's Day, goes to a party, and then gets killed in a roll-over car crash with her girlfriends. And on the next day, it all happens again, like Groundhog Day. Each day she tries to live a little differently, and get more clarity on what is most important.    [imdb]    [photos]

Review: Before I Fall is very introspective, and it is still pretty watchable. Sam tries, gets things wrong a dozen different ways, and slowly improves herself. The endlessly repeating day idea works well for such a touch-feely movie. The movie takes up themes of teen suicide and bullying.

Before I Fall works because of Zoey Deutch and her facial acting. The wordless communication is better than all the catty dialog between the girls.

Because it is a high school drama, it is familiar territory, but it works. It works because the interpersonal ties between the girls and the with Sam's childhood friend Logan (Kent McFuller) are so strong. As Sam gets more self-aware though endless practice, she sees her relationships more clearly. Further she risks more because she knows that day's embarrassments will be wiped away the next day. 

Cast: Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Logan Miller, Elena Kampouris, Cynthy Wu

Directed by:
Ry Russo-Young

Written by:
Maria Maggenti based on the novel by Lauren Oliver

The Music:
Pop/Dance music with female vocalists

The Visuals:
Mostly talking, but a few artistic images

2.5 stars: I liked it. 


More: Director Russo-Young says that the first day's high school drama is intended as a satire of high school movies, before it gets stranger and deeper in later repetitions.

Even More: I saw this in a theater full of young people. Movies about young people are some of the best stories. If older people should not only watch movies about old people. Movies about young people are better than movies with over-the-hill actors making one last gasp, for example, last week's Logan.