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Movie Review Before I Fall (2017): An Adaptation of a novel based on teen life, depression and friendship

Have you ever experienced Dejavuu? That is the feeling that something has happened before? Well, witness Samantha Kingston re-live her horrific day in 2017 movie, Before I Fall. A story based on Lauren Oliver’s novel.

Before I Fall is a 2017 American teen drama film directed by Ry Russo-Young and written by Maria Maggenti, based on the 2010 novel of same title by Lauren Oliver. The film stars Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Logan Miller, Kian Lawley, Jennifer Beals, Diego Boneta and Elena Kampouris.

The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 21st, 2017, and was theatrically released on March 3, 2017, by Open Road Films. According to Indie Wire, it was one of the highest grossing independent films of 2017, hitting $15 million worldwide against its $5 million budget

Samantha Kingston (Zoey Deutch) wakes on Cupid’s Day (February 12). She is picked up by her friends, Lindsay (Halston Sage), Ally (Cynthy Wu) and Elody (Medalion Rahimi), who joke with her about losing her virginity to her boyfriend Rob (Kian Lawley) that night.

During class, Sam is handed a rose, gifted from her boyfriend with a nonchalant note. She is also given a pale colored rose with a note suggesting it is from another boy named Kent (Logan Miller). He later invites her to his party. During lunch the girls make fun of Juliet (Elena Kampouris), an outsider girl that they view as a “psycho”.

At the party, Juliet shows up, seemingly uninvited. Lindsay confronts her and the two fight, with Juliet leaving in tears. As they are driving back from the party, the car hits something and crashes, apparently killing Sam and her friends.

Sam wakes in her room on Cupid’s Day again. Thinking the previous day was just a nightmare, Sam continues on with
her day but finds that the same events occur, and they again crash leaving the party. Sam wakes up on the same day again. Realizing she is in a time-loop, she convinces the group to have a sleepover instead of going to the party, trying to avoid the crash. They avoid the crash, but find out later in the night that Juliet has killed herself.

Despite avoiding the crash, Sam wakes up on the same day again. Seemingly unable to break the loop, she angrily reacts to everyone around her, insulting her friends and family. At the party, she has sex with Rob, not enjoying the experience. She runs into Kent’s room and breaks down in tears. Kent finds and comforts her, letting her stay in his room.

The next day, she skips school and spends time with her sister. At the party, Sam and Kent share a kiss. She hears the fight between Lindsey and Juliet from the hall and chases after her through the woods. Sam tries to stop Juliet, but she jumps in front of Lindsey’s car, horrifying Sam and making her realize that Juliet was what the car hit on the original day.

Sam wakes up again with a sense of calm and understanding, knowing what she must do to end the loop. She goes about her day much kinder and considerate than she had on the first. She also breaks up with Rob and tells Kent that she has a “secret” to tell him. At the party, she tells Kent she loves him. She again attempts to save Juliet, but when Juliet attempts to run into traffic, Sam accepts her fate and pushes her out of the way, being killed by a truck and ending the loop. As she dies, a montage of good memories plays in her head. Touched and moved, Juliet says to Sam’s lifeless body that she saved her, to which Sam’s spirit replies no, that Juliet was the one who saved her.

Before I fall earned a nomination in 2017 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Drama category. Cast also earned nominations; Zoey Deutch in 2017 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Drama Actress category and Kian Lawley in Choice Movie: Drama Actor category for the movie. Kian won the award for Choice Movie: Drama Actor.

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