Thursday, May 17, 2018

Movies That Suck Before I Fall

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Movies That Suck is a feature where I watch a bad movie and share my reactions to it in real time. Sort of like live tweeting without the tweeting. I watch it so you don't have to! This will be spoilery I guess by definition, but since you probably won't want to watch these anyway it probably won't matter? But heads up anyways. So get comfortable, grab a favorite beverage, and let me tell you about a movie that sucks.

This week is Before I Fall, an adaptation of the book by Lauren Oliver. I haven't read the book (kinda wish I had) but we're gonna tackle this one anyway. It stars Zoey Deutch as Samantha, the resident "it" girl at her high school, and also Halston Sage as fellow queen bee Lindsay. Deutch of course was Rose in Vampire Academy (wait... why aren't I reviewing that movie for this feature??) and Sage looked familiar too- it took me a minute to realize where I'd seen her. She was in Paper Towns. But I digress... and as a Lauren Oliver fan (seriously- where is the movie version of Panic?) I wanted to see this one. .   

Maybe for you there's a tomorrow

We get a little voiceover to start and right off we are asked to consider how we perhaps take time for granted, but what if we don't have much left? The day starts off much like most days I imagine for Sam- wake up to a text, rush off to school without breakfast, and ride to school with BFF Lindsay and the rest of her crew. This is of course the set up for getting to know them and see how crazy/ fun they are. It's Valentine's Day and apparently Sam has a hot date planned- Lindsay tells her she won't let Sam die a virgin so we have that piece of information. Oh and can I just say this was filmed in Vancouver and the scenery is amazing.  

We get the obligatory four-of-them-walking-down-the-school-hall-together-holding-hands shot, because they rule the school, you know, and can take up the hallway if they damn well please. But they seem fun, mostly. So in class the teacher is lecturing on Sisyphus (a little foreshadowing?) but oh it's time for roses! Everyone perks up when the roses arrive (it is Valentine's Day) and to her relief Sam gets one from her beau Rob. And we pointedly see that Anna, another student who looks pretty sulky, doesn't get one. "I'm in heteronormative hell."  But... Sam gets another rose, and this one ooh has a mysterious message. 

Pale pink,
as your cheeks
Barbed, as your exterior
I see past that 
I see you

Not sure if that's romantic or creepy AF, but okay. After class Kent asks her to come to his party tonight, and she's like... no. Is he crushing? He seemed to know about the rose? And then at lunch we learn how awesome these girls are, as Lindsay confesses to Snap'ing a picture that got Anna dumped by her girlfriend. Nice! Then Rob shows up and seems a little... douchey, maybe? And just to make sure we get that they can be bitches, they all laugh about the Val-a gram they sent to another student with the following lovely message. "Maybe next year. But probably not." 


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Cue to party preparations and Sam asks Lindsay, in a quiet moment, about Lindsay's first time and was she nervous, to which Linds replies she was too drunk to be anything. But hey it'll be fine because Sam actually likes Rob, right, and after all everyone wants to hook up with him anyway. That's reassuring. Off to the party they go and it doesn't take long for Lindsay to go looking for someone, leaving Sam alone. Kent is all like hey you came and she makes a beeline to get away from him, and who does she run into? Loverboy Rob, who's drunk and spills his drink all over her. Yeah, that's a romantic start!  

He tells her to text him when she's ready to, you know. Go and stuff. Can't wait, I'm sure. And then the four of them are mostly drunk, and Sam is asking if they'll remember any of this in a few years, when the girl they sent the Val-a-gram to shows up. Shit, she's not gonna go Carrie is she?? No. Wait... she kinda does? She's staring at Lindsay, who confronts her, and she tells Lindsay off for being a bitch. Like her mom. Ooh. It's getting personal and the four of them sorta gang up on her, she attacks Lindsay, and then everyone around them is throwing their beer on the poor girl. Cause yeah I'm definitely in her corner on this one. I love how she came to the party to confront her tormentors.

The four of them ditch the party (isn't Linds wasted off her ass? she's driving) and they're all pretty shook up about the fight. Sam muses that she called them bitches, and then reflects that, well, they kinda are. You know something's coming here and sure enough, she just looks at her watch- it's 12:39 am- and then something happens. An accident, although whether someone hit them or Lindsay hit someone else isn't clear. And the next thing Sam knows- she's in bed starting her day. The previous day.  



So I'm kind of into this now. Her day starts off the same... except for the part where it's not Saturday, she has to go to school and relive everything- but she starts to make changes. Kent brings her the secret admirer rose in the hallway after she leaves it behind, and she asks if it's from him. He doesn't really answer, but tells her he's having a party. And she spends the whole day in a fog, basically wondering WTF? She bumps into Rob at the party, just like before, and she tells him she's freaking out, and he's like "It's always something." What a guy! Oh and she wants to talk but he's gotta go refill his cup first, yeah?  

Cue the ominous music. She wanders into Kent's bedroom, and he walks in and says it's like deja vu finding her in his bedroom. Okay. Why did she go in his bedroom? I dunno. Carrie arrives right on schedule and the brawl goes down, but Sam is thinking about this stuff now. And I can't help wondering- why didn't you care before? And, um, why does she gets in the car with Lindsay again FFS? But she does, and the accident happens again. This time she starts doing things really different, including riding to school with her mom and actually complimenting her mom, who honestly doesn't seem too plugged in to Sam's life. She thinks maybe things can change, and maybe she can change them. My question is, is she doing this because she knows she dies, or because she truly feels bad? 

Lindsay begins to question why Sam is like a good person all of a sudden. But they skip the party since Sam doesn't want to go- and when the clock strikes 12:40 am she is so relieved. But... Juliet Sykes is dead (she's Carrie). She committed suicide. And we find out that Lindsay and Juliet were best friends at one time. And Linds does not want to talk about it. And then... she wakes up again. Time to do over. And after a whole bunch of days she gets pissed and decides to do... or say... whatever she wants. Ooh.  

So when she pushes Lindsay out of the way getting in the car, Lins asks her if she got up on the wrong side of the bed, and Sam is like "For a few days now, yeah." And when Lindsay tells her to use a condom with Rob or she'll be a walking STD farm, she's like "You would know." Dang! She's on the warpath, has a huge fight with Lindsay, and is on the outs with the cool girls now. Kent is even worried, passing her a note that says "This isn't you." I don't know, I like seeing her cut loose. Haven't you ever wanted to just say what you really think? 

Ooh Sam runs into Anna in the bathroom, and Anna tells her high school is just a blip on the radar, and that she won't remember Sam and her friends. Sam asks her if she ever feels like she's living the same day over and over, and Anna tells her that describes her whole life! Oh and they switch boots. And then at the party Elody tries to get Sam to apologize so she can patch things up with Linds, but Sam goes off and starts to mash with Rob. Um, why? I guess to get away from the Juliet fight that happens right on schedule. And Rob, class act that he is, tells her during sex "I love you. Is that what you wanted to hear?" 

Afterward Sam is crying and in Kent's room and he shows up. Nice guy. Lets her crash at his place since she doesn't wanna go home. They have a connection. And... Sam wakes up the next day and it's time to start over. But this time she says if she has to relive the same day, she wants it to be a worthy day. And not just for her. She starts spending more time with her family, and at dinner asks her mom if she thinks Sam is a good person. Her mom tells her 

"One good thing. You just focus on that one good thing, and you see where it leads you."

Sam knows there's more she has to do, so back to the party she goes. Her and Kent have a nice little heart to heart, and they kiss, and then she runs after Juliet. She learns the secret behind the Lindsay/ Juliet rift, and then... sees Juliet die when she runs in front of a vehicle. The one she's been in so many times... 

"For the first time, when I wake up I'm not scared or confused... or angry. Because, for the first time, I truly understand what needs to happen."

It feels like goodbye as she hugs her mom and dad that morning, and her sister. She doesn't have to hate her friends- she tells them why she loves them, each one of them. She sends roses to Juliet and Kent. She accepts Kent's invitation to his party (finally), breaks up with douchebag Rob (who says he should have picked Elody), and... she stops Lindsay in her tracks when Juliet walks by. At the party she tells Kent that their kiss was the best she ever had.. and he says they haven't kissed since third grade. She says they better get started then, she doesn't have a lot of time. Oh, and she loves him.   



And she saves Juliet. Or Juliet saves her, as she narrates at the end, giving her life for Juliet. 

"But for some of us, there's only today. And what you do today matters... in the moment... and maybe into infinity. 

"That's when I realized that certain moments go on forever. Even after they're over, they still go on. They are the meaning."

Okay so this movie didn't suck. It's actually quite good and makes me curious about the book. And this is the second time I've been favorably impressed with Zoey Deutch. I don't have a lot more to say other than those last two quotes... sum up the movie quite well. And a pretty good message besides. 

45 comments:

  1. I was about to say!!!!! I haven't seen the movie yet, but this is one of my all-time fave books, so I was severely hoping it didn't suck. You should totally read the book--it's SO GOOD!!!

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    1. I may have to- I've heard good things!!

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  2. I recently watched this film, and it was ok. I loved this book, and felt like the book had a greater emotional impact. I think I struggled with the love interest, because he was the villain from Love, Simon, and I just couldn't see past that XD I did get a tear or two in my eye during the closing sequence. I am not sure if this book just wasn't right for a movie or if it wasn't done well, still deciding.

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    1. I've heard the book is really good. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the movie, and thought Deutch pulled it off pretty good.

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  3. I loved the book so much but it has been such a long time since i read it. I would love to see the movies but just have never got around to it. I need to change that and soon apparently!

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    1. I've never read it but people have told me it's their favorite Oliver book?

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  4. Dude! I am so sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy this one. I read the book and saw the movie at a special screening with the actors, so maybe I am biased. I thought it was quite true to the original book, though. Probably not the best acting, but it told the story as I wanted to see it, so I was satisfied. Here's hoping that you enjoy the next film you watch! ;)

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    1. Actually I did! I thought it was pretty good, and thought it had a good message. That's cool that you got to see it a special screening!

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  5. I really want to watch this! I have a copy of the book but haven't read it. Now I'm excited!

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    1. I haven't read it either, but you know- it's worth seeing!

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  6. This is not a movie I ever would have thought to watch but you've made me curious! I like the Groundhog Day premise and watching Same really go off on people sounds like a lot of fun!

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    1. I was curious about it, being a Lauren Oliver fan, and should have read the book first so I could contrast, but you know the movie is good!

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  7. I really loved this book, it was one of my favorites from last year. I thought the movie was pretty cool, too. I liked watching Sam grow, and the ending definitely made me sad!

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    1. I've heard a lot of people say that, and like I was saying to Jenea above, numerous bloggers have said it was their favorite Oliver book. I may read it at some point!

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  8. I think I liked the book. It’s been so long I can’t remember. I wanted to see this one. I’ll have to make more of an effort.

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  9. I've had this book on my shelf for YEARS but it's one of those books that was so over-hyped that I'm afraid to read it lol Myabe I'll just watch the movie.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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  10. I tried and didn't like the author years back so I haven't read this and wouldn't be watching the film.

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    1. No? I've read a couple of her books and liked them- I'm not a superfan but I do like her stuff.

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  11. I actually really enjoyed this one too. I walked into it knowing almost nothing about it, so it was a nice surprise.

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    1. Yeah I thought it was nice! I didn't know much either than the basic premise, and was pleasantly surprised.

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  12. I have heard the book is really really good. I have not read it yet but I do want to and then watch this movie. I am happy to hear you didn't think the movie sucked!

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    1. I have too. I think the movie would probably really benefit from having read the book first- and no it didn't!

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  13. I've read the book and I would say that the movie did a really spot on job with the plot. The book is a fantastic and heart tugging read! I think you would love it. I watched this with my sisters after I made them read the book. Great post as always!

    Keep on Reading

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    1. I've heard that. I kinda do want to read the book. and thank you!

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  14. Good to hear the movie's not too bad. I didn't love the book but liked it okay and was curious about the movie. I'll have to check it out someday.

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  15. I really enjoyed the book, so I've been hesitant to watch the movie! Although I do love the main actress (she was in the Vampire Academy movie, too). I plan on watching it in the future, so I'm glad it wasn't a bust! (Re: Percy Jackson *cries*)

    L @ Do You Dog-ear?

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  16. Admittedly, this movie got tiresome after a few Groundhog-Day-like days. But I enjoyed it overall.

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  17. Hmm, I haven't seen this, nor have I read the book. Already I can tell it's not like most of the other movies you've discussed for this feature though, it actually seems quite legit! I prefer movies that don't really take themselves too seriously

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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  18. I can not rmember if I watched or not...if I did I must not have liked it

    OH and DO VA!!!! God, that movie was baaaad

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  19. I haven't seen this one yet but I read bathe book which I thought was good. If you like Lauren Oliver's other books you'll enjoy it.

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  20. Never read the book, but saw this at a film fest last year. It was ok? Like you said, the scenery is absolutely gorgeous and it had a nice message, but it was also kind of corny to me. I don't regret watching it, though, and there are much worse ways to kill 2 hours! Glad this wound up being a movie that didn't suck :)

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  21. Despite not liking the book (and currently it's a DNF), I do want to see this one. I'm hopeful the 2-hour time slot will move faster, which is my biggest complaint about the book: the repeated days move SO DARN SLOW!

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  22. I remember when this book was super big and I saw it everywhere but when I picked it up I was sorely disappointed. Then when I saw there was a movie I knew immediately I wouldn't be watching it. That sounds harsh but I've never been put off by a book as bad as I was this one, even more so the movie. :(

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  23. I have the book but haven't read it yet. The movie does look good.

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  24. Wow yes Panic really should be a movie. Probably better as a movie than a book. Also Vanishing Girls. I digress. I liked the book quite a bit better, but the movie isn't terrible I suppose. I agree that it's not fully clear why she starts to change, but by the end it does seem genuine. Sad that it takes dying for her to not be a bully and break up with the worst dude ever, but alas. Do you think you will read the book? The story is pretty much the same but the writing is really good and I think the book is much more emotional. Glad that this one didn't suck 😊

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  25. Thanks for the recap because this is so not my thing. Ha ha. 😂

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  26. I may have to watch this one! I remember being intrigued by the trailer but then not seeing it because I wanted to read the book first. It sounds like they did an okay job with it. Great post.

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  27. I haven't read the book, but I borrowed the movie from the library and I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I expected. :)

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  28. I haven't read the book either but definitely need to! I'm glad the movie turned out not to suck after all.

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  29. I read this book all the way back in 2013, but I really didn't remember it at all. I apparently really didn't like it. When I went back and reread my review, I still don't remember the book, so...
    Anyway, I'm sort of wondering if this will be a case like If I Stay where I actually liked the movie MORE than the book. I'll have to get it and see!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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  30. OMG, if you could Vampire Academy I would be eternally grateful. I've never read the series (it's a marmite one people seem to either love or hate) but the film was terrible! I loved it in it's awfulness.

    Great play by play for the film, I was surprised by this one too and it (mostly) keeps to the book. I think it skipped a couple of things but I can't remember. I'm still eternally sad I did not get the ending I wanted but it was really cool.

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