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Before I Fall review – “Groundhog Day” meets “Mean Girls” in this new movie by Ry Russo-Young. Except this movie gives us much fewer laughs than “Mean Girls” and instead decides to pull on the heartstrings of the audience and deliver us many more sad scenes. I thought this movie was going to be incredibly cliche and boring as I’ve seen this premise been done hundreds of times. However, when I found out that the screenwriter was female and so was the director, I had many hopes that they would understand their audience and deliver us an emotional story completely centred around teens.
February 12 is just another day in Sam’s charmed life until it turns out to be her last. Stuck reliving her last day over and over, Sam untangles the mystery around her death and discovers everything she’s losing.
As I’ve mentioned, this might sound like a tired old premise and might draw people away. This movie is surprisingly very different within its approach, it’s serious and chilling with a dark tone to it. Which surprised even more considering how typical and cliche the trailer made it look. It has a blue and grey colour scheme to everything, which suits the mountain areas and damp feel the movie has lingering throughout. On the surface, this looks like it has a typical Disney look but its never afraid to talk about touchy subjects like teen suicide or contraception. The movie has a great ballad of songs, some fitting the scenes whilst others not so much. For me, it just felt as though there was too much music being played at times, not every scene requires a teen pop song but this movie sure tries to cram as many in as possible. One thing that I began to hate when watching Before I Fall was its side character. They’re all extremely annoying and act like total bitches for no reason. However, through the movie they actually express it and I found out that they aren’t afraid to say they’re bitchy. I really appreciated the movie for not just giving us bland female characters that are bitchy for the sake of it, its such a simple thing but its something I liked.
Many people would love to relive a certain day in their life but when you witness it through the eyes of Sam it slowly becomes a chore to watch. Unfortunately, this movies biggest problem is how cliche it ends up being. You know everything that’s going to happen before it does, you know she’s going to go through this same day many times over until she finally realises by the end of the movie what she’s been missing. If you’ve seen any movie with this premise then you know how it’s going to go. It does, however, lead up to an interesting ending that left me feeling pretty complete and not needing to know any more of Sams story. We gradually come to appreciate her much more as the story progresses, not liking her much at the beginning but soon enjoying every layer to her personality and the hidden connections that she has to everyone around her.
As much as her story felt complete, that’s not to say about all the other days that she lived which can become very confusing. What happens to all those days she lived incorrectly? Are they like failed lives in a video game, or do they continue on to create parallel experiences? This question did drag me out of the experience at times. The movie has much more to do with school bullying than it does about changing her experience every time. The message Before I Fall leaves you with is that there are no innocent bystanders when it comes to causing others pain, and Sam must learn this through her infinite loops.
Overall, Before I Fall is a good movie that its unique approach to the teen highschool drama is interesting enough for anyone to watch. For me, it stood out more than the main premise. However, it cant stop itself from falling deep into many of the cliches of the genre and this was the movies biggest issue.