Taglines: What if today was the only day of the rest of your life?
What if you had only one day to change absolutely everything? Samantha Kingston has it all: the perfect friends, the perfect guy, and a seemingly perfect future. Then, everything changes. After one fateful night, Sam wakes up with no future at all.
Trapped reliving the same day over and over she begins to question just how perfect her life really was. And as she begins to untangle the mystery of a life suddenly derailed, she must also unwind the secrets of the people closest to her, and discover the power of a single day to make a difference, not just in her own life, but in the lives of those around her – before she runs out of time for good.
Before I Fall is an American drama film directed by Ry Russo-Young and written by Maria Maggenti. It is based on the 2010 novel of same name by Lauren Oliver. The film stars Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Logan Miller, Kian Lawley, Jennifer Beals, Diego Boneta, and Elena Kampouris. Principal photography took place in Squamish and Vancouver, from November 16 to December 19, 2015.
Review for Before I Fall
Samantha (Zoey Deutch) is the nicest member of a foursome of mean girls at a high school somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. “Before I Fall” takes place on the last day of her life. This is no spoiler: Samantha perishes in what has to be among the most heavily foreshadowed car accidents in recent movies, on a misty road in the dead of night. But then she wakes in a cycle of repetition reminiscent of “Groundhog Day,” living through the same sequence of events again and again until she gets it right.
The film, directed by Ry Russo-Young, written by Maria Maggenti and based on Lauren Oliver’s young-adult novel, isn’t a comedy but rather a dutiful entry in the intermittently popular dying-girl melodrama genre. The damp, forested Pacific Northwest setting puts us in the “Twilight” zone. The mood of morbid, smiling-through-tears sentimentality recalls “The Fault in Our Stars,” “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” and “If I Stay.”
The filmmakers take the sting out of death in two ways: by dissolving tragedy in a dubious, not-quite-religious metaphysical scheme and by making the principal characters so generic that they barely exist in the first place. Ms. Deutch is an alert and engaging performer, but Samantha is almost entirely devoid of interests, tastes or ideas.
The people around her are a little more distinctive, but only because they have entirely conventional roles to fulfill, more like video game avatars than flesh-and-blood beings. Samantha has a mom and a dad and an annoying younger sister, a jerky boyfriend she’s planning on sleeping with for the first time, another boy who is not-so-secretly in love with her, and a squad of friends. They can be sorted into the wild one, the responsible one and the Queen Bee — identities that are signaled, day after day, by obvious behavioral cues. There is also a weird girl who is tormented by Samantha and her crew, and whose fate turns out to be the axis on which the movie’s world turns.
“Before I Fall” is tactful rather than maudlin, tasteful rather than lurid, soothing rather than creepy. None of that is good news. Ms. Russo-Young’s earlier films (including “You Won’t Miss Me” and “Nobody Walks,” which she wrote with Lena Dunham) can be intriguingly oblique, using the natural diffidence of millennial characters to suggest hidden reservoirs of frustration, hostility, sorrow and desire. There is no such subtext here, no rough patches or sharp edges of individuality, and therefore nothing to care or wonder about. The twists are smoothed out, the dots are connected and the day finally ends, almost as if it had never happened at all.
Before I Fall
Directed by: Ry Russo-Young
Starring: Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Jennifer Beals, Elena Kampouris, Logan Miller, G. Hannelius, Alyssa Lynch, Diego Boneta
Screenplay by: Maria Maggenti
Production Design by: Paul Joyal
Cinematography by: Michael Fimognari
Film Editing by: Joe Landauer
Costume Design by: Eilidh McAllister
Set Decoration by: Jonathan Lancaster, Lisa Lancaster
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for mature thematic content involving drinking, sexuality, bullying, some violent images, and language-all involving teens.
Studio: Open Road Films
Release Date: March 3, 2017
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