Film Review: “Before I Fall”

Starring: Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage and Cynthy Wu
Directed by: Ry Russo-Young
Rated: PG-13
Running time: 1 hr 39 mins
Open Road Films

Our Score: 0.5 out of 5 Stars

It was less than a month ago when, commenting on seeing the worse film of 2017, I included the following in my review of “The Space Between Us:”

“Thankfully I think I’ve found my winner for 2017 so the next 11 months of movie-going should be enjoyable for me.”

To the cast and crew of “The Space Between Us” I extend my sincere apologies.

I can sum this film up in one sentence: Imagine if a group of people got together and decided to make the worse movie possible based on the premise of the film “Groundhog’s Day.”

We meet moody teenager Samantha (Deutch) as she is awakened by a text that reads “Happy Cupid’s Day.” She is greeted repeatedly with this comment, often followed by, “or as you call it, Valentine’s Day.” Which would be nice if the date on the phone didn’t clearly read February 12. Oops. Anyway, she heads to school with her three idiot friends – I had so little interest in them that I didn’t even make the effort to look up their names – who are obviously the “cool” girls of the school. Tonight is the big night because Samantha is going to have sex with the dreamy Rob. Sam gets a rose from a classmate but ignores it. She spends her lunch hour picking on the “weird” girl then finds herself at a party. Finding Rob disappointing she leaves the party with her gal pals. Then she dies. Or does she?

I’ll have to admit that for the first few minutes of the film I thought it might be interesting. I was reminded of the film “Carrie” when I noticed the quartet of girls were very similar to the leads in that 1976 film. Sam is Sue Snell, the good girl played by Amy Irving. She is surrounded by girls similar in character to the ones played by Nancy Allen, P.J. Soles and Edie McClurg. Make the “weird” girl Carrie and you’re set. Sadly, the film and its makers are not that clever. “Before I Fall” is a film that is so bad it’s almost insulting to the audience. So many teen movie tropes fill the screen that you almost have to brush them away to see what’s happening. The acting is wooden and the laughs are almost non-existent. Except to the three ladies who sat behind me who guffawed as if they had just walked into a comedy club with Robin Williams on stage every time one of the gals hands Sam a condom and comments “no glove, no love.” HA-HA-HA!

Time after time the condom is exchanged, things happen and Sam dies. It gets to the point where, as soon as the “new” day begins you’re hoping Sam will just die in bed. I haven’t been so anxious to see a character die on screen since I rooted against the shark in “Jaws.”

Damn it, Mike, isn’t there ANYTHING positive you can say about this film? Yes there is. I was impressed with Elena Kampouris, who plays the “weird” Juliette. Both she, and her character, deserved a better fate then this film.

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