Buy links above are for the book Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.
Before I Fall Movie Trailer
Tickets are on sale now! The movie hit’s theaters Friday, March 3rd.
I was lucky enough to obtain tickets to an advance screening of the film. These were just regular advanced screening tickets that I obtained through a public “giveaway” and I did not go as press.
I read Before I Fall when it first came out in 2010 (read my book review here). It was Lauren Oliver’s debut novel and I very much enjoyed it. The story was darker but had the same sense of hope as “If I Stay,” so it worked for me as a contemporary story that I still think all teens should read (or see).
For me, the growth that Samantha has through the story was what I really wanted to see come to life on screen. This is what makes the story so heartbreaking and gives the reader the desire to look at yourself and what you’re doing with your life. Before I Fall the movie did not disappoint.
Sam starts out as an unintentional mean girl. She has her three best friends and a boyfriend and she lives that in that bubble of “popular” kid. The movie shows more than you can in a book that she doesn’t always like the choices her friends are making, but she wants to fit in, so she goes along with it and passively participates. After the car accident that throws Sam into her daily repeat, she starts to see what’s really going on. She isn’t trapped by the social norms, she’s going to relive the day again, so she can do whatever she wants.
I really liked seeing Sam’s freedom come across on screen. Zoey Deutch, who plays Sam, does a great job with the subtle eye movements and posture that really sell what Sam is thinking and feeling throughout the movie. Watching her journey was just as heartbreaking the second time around and I was kind of hoping they’d throw a surprise ending in there because you really do grow to love Sam.
I think the movie did a great job of following the book (granted it’s been 6 years since I’ve read it, so I know things were changed, i.e. the line is “I changed my sheets” not “I cleaned my room” – the changing sheets line was SO much more of an EWWW moment in the book for me), but for me, the movie worked. It really captured the heart of the story and has all the big moments. And it’s still a must see/experience story.
The only downside of the movie for me is that it has an indie movie feel. It’s a little slow, but I’m not sure how you could have really fixed that and still stayed true to the story. So I forgive that. But on the flip side, it has an indie movie feel. It’s beautifully done, the cinematography and the visuals in the movie are stunning. They totally capture the Pacific North West.
I hope you all go check this movie out and support this VERY well done and moving YA adaptation.