One of the fun things we did this weekend was to finally try out the Dine-In Theater that is located near us. We stopped there for lunch and a movie on our way out of town. It was a fun experience, though the food was overpriced for the quality, as you'd expect. I was a bit disappointed that the recliner seats weren't in the same theaters as the dine-in options (and in those giant plush chairs, my feet dangled a foot off the ground!). But I made do and tucked my feet up into the large chair. Oh, and the movie! That's right - this is a movie review....
We saw Before I Fall, a new movie based on a very popular young adult novel by Lauren Oliver. I had wanted to read the book and never got around to it, so I was glad to see the movie adaptation. It's like Groundhog Day for teens.
Samantha, played with great depth by Zoey Deutch, is one of the most popular girls in her senior year at high school, dating one of the most popular guys and hanging out with a group of friends on top of the social strata. February 13th is set to be one of her best days ever. It's Cupid Day at her school, when students can buy roses for each other. As Samantha and her best friends carry their roses around school that day, a quiet boy named Kent, played by Logan Miller, asks Samantha if she'll come to a party he's having that night. After a typical day as Queens of their school, Samantha and her friends get ready for the party. This is also a big day for Samantha because she's told Rob that today is the night when they will finally go all the way, so her friends help her look extra-special.
Things begin to go awry at the party, though, and soon tumble out of control. One bad thing follows another, and the day ends in tragedy. But the next morning, Samantha wakes up safe and sound in her bed and is confused to see the same text about Cupid Day that her best friend, Lindsay, sent yesterday. It turns out it is yesterday, and Samantha seems to be reliving the same day again. This happens over and over, usually with the same - or similar - disastrous outcome. As she relives that same day over and over, Samantha begins to see behind the beautiful facade of her life and the lives of those around her and to look deeper. She becomes determined to somehow get things right, to change things for herself and others, so that she can stop this endless loop.
I knew the plot of the book and was excited to see the movie, but I wasn't sure how my husband would feel about a movie filled with teens. We both ended up enjoying it very much. Although it has all the familiar teen tropes at the beginning - the popular kids, the mean girls, the outcast, etc. - it turns out to have a lot of depth to it, as Samantha peels away the layers of her life, one at a time. The cast and acting are quite good, especially by Zoey as Samantha, and the plot is gripping. It is also quite thought-provoking to think: What would you do? How would you make things right? Though some of Samantha's actions as the movie progresses are a bit predictable, there are still plenty of secrets and surprises to discover.
Before I Fall was just released on March 3 and is currently in theaters. Its DVD and streaming release date has not yet been announced. So, you have plenty of time to read the book first, if you prefer!
Before I Fall is in theaters 3/3. Purchase your tickets in advance from Fandango and don't get sold out!