Keep It Reel: ‘Before I Fall’

By Marc Woodfork

At first glance or by watching promos for this film, you can’t help but immediately think of Bill Murray’s comedy hit “Groundhog Day.”

My first thought was “great, not another poor remake of a classic film.”  After watching it thought, I was pleasantly surprised. While this film has the trademarks of  “Groundhog Day,” it’s much more philosophical and cerebral.

“Before I Fall” tells the story of Samantha Kingston, played wonderfully by actress Zoey Deutch, who wakes after a seemingly life-changing event to realize she’s trapped re-living the same day over and over.

It’s a simple plot but the script delves into deeper underlying issues of being a teenager and having to navigate the most confusing period of our lives — also known as adolescence. While experiencing the time loop Samantha is going through, she begins to think about the events in her life and the true nature of her friendships and decides to make some changes.

Zoey gives a very solid performance and tackles the heavier aspects of the story like a seasoned vet.  There are moments of immaturity and stupidity that make you want to smack every kid on the screen, but it does have a poignant message that will speak to teenagers in a way that doesn’t sound overly preachy.

“Before I Fall”  wants to be sincere and it achieves that.  It isn’t groundbreaking in its message, but thoughtful writing with good direction makes the film work.

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