As soon as the commercials ended, I instantly thought, Oh no, please don’t be another version of “Mean Girls” or “Clueless.” Don’t get me wrong, I love “Clueless” and “Mean Girls,” but I’ve seen those classics one too many times. I chose this movie because I thought it’d be more than classic teen drama — it’d be a mystery.
“Before I Fall,” a young adult mystery/drama film based off of author Lauren Oliver’s best-selling novel, starts off to be your stereotypical cheesy young adult film with the jocks, the nerds and the popular girls. Seventeen-year-old Samantha Kingston, played by Zoey Deutch, is Hollywood’s ultimate teenage girl: small waist, shiny chestnut hair and a dreamy boyfriend. She’s the epitome of Hollywood’s high school popular girl.
Deutch and the rest of the cast carried their parts strongly. Deutch pulled off the looks and personality of a high school girl pretty well for being 22 years old. The acting wasn’t a problem for me — the plot was.
Samantha’s perfect high school life takes a sharp turn when she and her friends leave a party, and their car hits an obstacle, flips and they all die. But to everyone’s surprise she doesn’t actually die; she is trapped in purgatory, reliving that same day over and over again with an array of life lessons delivered to her each day.
She is a popular, mean girl. But does that mean she deserves to die and relieve the day of her death over and over until she’s nice to other people? Seems like a dramatic way of portraying a lesson on bullying, but maybe I’m not opening up my imagination enough.
The magic behind how or why Samantha continues to relive the same day on repeat is never explained. Throughout the entire movie I thought, ‘Why is she reliving this one day over and over again?’ It was beyond confusing to not know any details behind this repetitive cycle that was taking place the whole movie. I guess whoever decided that this movie fit under a mystery/drama genre has interesting views on what is mystical vs. what is confusing.
Even while walking to my car outside of the AMC theater, I was thinking: Was Sam trying to change her bad habits in order to break out of this never ending cycle? Or was she just trying to make positive changes in her life to become a better person? This wasn’t a mystery; this was just confusing.
This is a teen chick flick — not a mystery. Don’t be fooled like I was. There isn’t any interesting aspect of mystery — there is only confusion on why she is trapped living the day of her death on repeat. If you have $10 lying around and you want to do something, then go ahead, but I wish I had saved my $10 and watched “Clueless” in the comfort of my bed.