Review: Zoey Deutch Shines in Leading Performance in ‘Before I Fall’

Genre: Drama | Mystery
Directed by: Ry Russo-Young
Starring: Zoey Deutch, Logan Miller, Halston Sage
Written by: Maria Maggenti (screenplay) Lauren Oliver (novel)

If you weren’t sure who Zoey Deutch is, you should be familiar with her from now on. Deutch stars as Samantha Kingston, a girl who can’t seem to shake February 12 out of her life. February 12 is the day that keeps on repeating itself, over and over and over again. Who wouldn’t want to live “Cupid’s Day” (a fake low-rent rip-off Valentine’s Day) repeatedly? Poor Sam doesn’t have much of a choice, because her task is to figure out why she can’t move past that day and how to alter her life to make it potentially happen.

THE GOOD:

Before I Fall is a fairly intriguing mystery teen drama. I stress the “teen” part. It’s about high school kids and cliques. It specifically gears towards the 15-19 year-old demographic, however, I did find it enjoyable due to the message of the movie, and others should be able to enjoy it also. It follows the premise of what would you do if you had one day to change everything in your life? It’s an interesting question actually, that some, including myself have thought of at some point in their lives. In my scenario I’m flirting up every cute girl in my vicinity for starters.

I likes the grayish look and tone of the movie. The skies are always dark whenever the characters are outside. The film takes place in what appears to be somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, where the clouds lay low and the mountains pierce the sky, with the vast forest land encapsulates it all. The scale of everything surrounding the characters is so big and never ending. The setting is a reflection of the plot the characters are involved in. It’s interesting usage of outside elements to enhance the story.

Zoey Deutch is a personal favorite of mine. She glows and shines, so no wonder the surrounding could be gloomy. She caught my attention in Dirty Grandpa, and won me over in Everybody Wants Some and it didn’t take long for Hollywood to notice that she has star potential. Deutch handles herself well in her first leading role. She’s charismatic and draws you to her every time she appears on-screen. She has this innate ability to to transform herself looking like a high school girl into to a sexy woman. She demonstrates this drastic change in this movie. The surrounding cast fits alongside Deutch. Logan Miller and Halston Sage play two important people in Samantha’s life that have ties to her situation. Speaking of her situation…

Zoey Deutch is proves she can be a leading actress

The plot revolves around Samantha as she’s trying to figure out why she can’t seem to get past the one day she keeps repeating. It’s heavily reminiscent to Groundhog Day in concept, but not in story. Ok, so the plot is somewhat predicable if you follow it closely, yet it still offers enough mystery and suspense to watch it unfold. The ending does leave you with a bittersweet feeling and some questions, those that were intended for you to ponder and ones that were my own.

THE BAD:

It was a bit hard to believe Deutch playing a mean girl in this movie. So she’s part of the “popular” group of girls that picks on the unfortunate Juliet (Elena Kampouris). Poor Juliet is so disheveled that she looks like Doc Brown combined with a human tree. Still, hard to buy into her as a bad girl, just cause of her nice girl personality portrayed in movies and the role isn’t very fitting of that, but also making the audience try to root for a main character that’s a bully isn’t the easiest sell.

Doesn’t quite look like mean girl

The ending left me a bit perplexed. Even though it wasn’t a typical cliche ending, it did leave me feeling a bit empty. There is a justification of all the actions and a self-discovery, but at the cost of not feeling complete. That’s as much as I can say without giving away the ending, but think to yourself when you see this, how does the ending make you feel about the characters ultimate destiny.

So, the girls in the movie make a huge deal of this Cupid’s Day. Now, if we are talking Valentine’s Day, alright, but what the hell is Cupid’s Day? Is this a teen thing that I can’t seem to understand? I mean, I know what OkCupid is, cause I’ve gone on dates with girls from there, but Cupid’s Day sounds like a ridiculous concept. There was no way these characters were going to sell me on the importance of it.

THE VERDICT: 

Before I Fall won’t make you fall asleep by any means, though it may make you fall for Zoey Deutch like I have. Fans of the book will be drawn to seeing it, but outsiders who haven’t read the book can enjoy this mystery drama. March is a strong movie release month, but Before I Fall can stand tall among the others.

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 1hr 39min

Release Date: March 3, 2017

Follow me on Twitter @JimRko

About Jim Alexander

When it boils down to it, Jim's passion is entertainment. Aside from being an avid sports fan, that follows all things NFL, NBA, and Soccer. He currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago. At the core of his interests...movies! Whether trying to catch the newest flick coming out this weekend, or the latest On Demand release, to heated debates with his friends and colleagues about the most recent "Box Office Blunder". The passion for movies lies deep within him. When he isn't writing, he immerses himself in his other interests; Acting and Radio Broadcasting. Follow Jim on Twitter @JimRko.