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Film / Before I Fall

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What if today was the only day of the rest of your life?
The film version of Before I Fall directed by Ry Russo-Young. Samantha Kingston (Zoey Deutch) is brought out of the pages of the book and onto-the-screen but she's still stuck reliving the same day over and over again.

The film plays the main storyline pretty straight but with some alterations to the sub-plots. It co-stars Halston Sage, Logan Miller, Kian Lawley, Jennifer Beals, and Diego Boneta.

Let's relive some tropes for the umpteenth time with Sam.

The film provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Distillation: In terms of plot it's mostly subplots that get distilled but Sam only goes through six days in the movie compared to seven in the book.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Sam is portrayed as a green-eyed blonde in the book (as even seen on the front cover), but in the movie, she is portrayed by the hazel-eyed brunette Zoey Deutch, who kept her natural hair color.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Mr. Daimler doesn't take the same kind of interest in Sam that he does in the book as here he sternly rejects Sam when she tries to flirt with him.
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  • Adaptational Job Change: In the book, Mr. Daimler is the calculus teacher, here he is seen lecturing on Sisyphus which probably makes him either an English or history teacher.
  • Adaptational Modesty:
    • In the book, the girls wore fur-trimmed tank tops and skirts for Cupid Day. Their film outfits are much more modest.
    • Sam's Day four outfit, while more revealing then anything else she wears in the movie, covers more than what she went with in the book.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Anna is a lesbian in the movie. In the book she was clearly interested in boys but her choice in lighters may make her bi.
  • Adults Are Useless: The teachers never seem to call the girls (especially Lindsay) out for their cruel behavior.
  • All Girls Like Ponies: Sam used to be a passionate horseback rider before Lindsay et al. shamed it out of her.
  • Alpha Bitch: Sam and her friends, Lindsay, Ally and Elody; although Lindsay is obviously their leader.
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  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Izzy. Not really how Sam feels. She really and truly loves her little sister
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Sam does care about her family, she just doesn't show it very often.
    • Kick the Dog moments aside, Lindsay genuinely does care about her friends and it's implied her bitchiness is a cover up for how she's really feeling.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Sam and Kent on the last day.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Ultimately, Sam manages to save Juliet... but only by sacrificing herself in the process.
  • Book Dumb: Ally is presented as being the slower of the friend group
  • Broken Bird: Poor, poor Juliet. She was best friends with Lindsey and took the blame for something Lindsey did and got made fun of by practically the entire school peer group all the way through high school.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Juliet goes to Kent's party with the intention of "calling the bitches out".
  • Can't Hold Her Liquor: Elody.
  • Character Development: grows through the course of her days.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: With Sam and Kent, but not at first.
  • Cool Big Sis: Sam spends one of her loops showing Izzy a favorite childhood haunt, giving her advice, and generally showing her all the time and affection she never gave her in real life. It's condensed in the movie, but she still spends one of her loops with Izzy.
  • The Cutie: Izzy is one.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sam and Anna Cartullo.
  • The Ditz: Implied with Ally and Elody.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Kent is this to Sam.
  • Driven to Suicide: Sam and her friends did this to Juliet Sykes.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Lindsay, especially when drunk.
  • Dysfunctional Family: HEAVILY implied with Lindsay.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When picking up Elody from her house, the girls lock the car doors and won't open up until she flashes them her bra. Confirmed by Elody that this is far from the first time they've played that particular joke. It could be interpreted as just of a private joke between friends of them commenting on how "easy" Elody is.
  • Extreme Doormat: Elody. Even when Sam calls Lindsay out for being so horrible to her behind her back, she still sides with Lindsay over Sam, and it's implied the main reason is fear, and she gets called a "pushover" several times. She also seems to be the recurring Butt-Monkey out of the four girls (though Sam and Ally do get their share) and her friend with benefits Steve doesn't pay her much attention.
    • Juliet also, at least before her "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the main four, as she never tried standing up for herself when everyone made fun of her, although whether it was out of loyalty to Lindsay isn't totally clear. As Juliet herself says, "I thought it would pass."
  • Food Slap: At the party, right after Juliet unleashes a "The Reason You Suck" Speech directed at the popular girls, everyone takes turns throwing their drinks at her.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Sam dies at least once.
  • Former Friend of Alpha Bitch: Sam and Kent used to be friends as children; so did Lindsay and Juliet.
  • Get Out!: In the fourth loop, Sam bursts out with a fierce "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Lindsay on the way to school. Lindsay evicts her from the car, forcing her to walk to school in a thin jacket. In February.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Of course.
  • Happily Married: Sam's parents.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Most of the girls we meet in this book are down for parties and tossing back lots of alcohol.
  • Heroic BSoD: Although "hero" may be generous, Sam has a couple of breakdowns over the course of the story, especially when One night when Sam doesn't reach Juliet in time, Juliet and Elody die.
    • During an argument with Kent, Sam goes off on a rant about how screwed up things are (of course, referring to her Groundhog Day predicament) and blurts out, "I don't think I can be fixed."
  • Heroic Sacrifice
  • High School: Thomas Jefferson High School
  • Hot Teacher: Still appears in the film, as the actor playing Mr. Daimler is an attractive man. He does not however, ever return the amorous affections of some of his students which is a departure from his source in the book. It adds some needed class to the character.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Juliet, since Sam pushed her out of the way.
  • Ironic Echo: "I thought it would pass." Spoken first by Juliet, and later by Lindsay when reacting to the news of her former friend's suicide.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Well, wouldn't you in that situation?
  • Jerkass: There are a few, but most notable Lindsay, (although she at the very least has a Freudian Excuse).
    • Rob gets special mention for telling Sam when she breaks up with him, "I should have picked Elody." and publicly embarrassing her the first time she ever asked him out, just because he was more popular then her.
  • Jerk Jock: Sam's boyfriend, Rob, a lacrosse player.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Kent is somewhat of a gender-flipped version for
  • Meaningful Name: The suicidal Ophelia is called Juliet.
  • Motor Mouth: Kent when he's nervous.
  • Oddball in the Series: The fourth time loop is generally the one Sam acts out the most in.
  • The Ophelia: Juliet, called "The Psycho", who never speaks, hides behind her hair, and is described drifting along hallways "like a dandelion seed".
  • Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: Sam used to be a loser and Lindsay used to pick on her. When Lindsay befriended her, though, Sam abandoned her "nerdy" hobbies to fit in with her, and as such becomes something of an Alpha Bitch herself. (Although she really just goes along with what Lindsay wants, at least at first.)
  • Really Gets Around: In the movie, the most experienced is shown to be Lindsey when Sam insults her.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Juliet gives one to the four at Kent's party.
    • Sam gives one to Lindsay when she finally snaps during one of the time loops.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Averted despite being cast to look like the book character the Cupid who delivers Kent's rose to Sam is never mentioned to be Juliet's sister, Marian.
  • Reset Button: Sam's new day starts either when she dies or when she falls asleep until her last day, where she dies for good.
  • Rich Bitch: All the girls are relatively well-off.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The key to Sam's redemption is saving Juliet.
  • Setting Update: The book takes place in Connecticut, but one line from Lindsey suggests the film takes place in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Single Girl Seeks Most Popular Guy: Rob's appeal to Sam, especially before she became popular herself.
  • Shadow Archetype: Arguably, Juliet is this to Sam. Both of them were bullied by Lindsay in the past, but whereas Juliet starts out as her best friend and could even qualify as a Fallen Princess, Sam and Lindsay become friends just before high-school. Sam becomes one of Lindsay's Alpha Bitch followers, ditching her old hobbies to fit in, whereas Juliet becomes an extremely unpopular loner because of Lindsay's bullying. The fact that Juliet is the key to Sam breaking out of her "Groundhog Day" Loop is possibly a reflection of this.
  • Slut-Shaming: In the movie, Sam does this to Lindsay. Lindsay responds by kicking her out of the car.
  • Something About a Rose:
    • The girls compete over who receives the most roses for Valentine's (Cupid) Day and torment Juliet by sending her one every year with the words "Maybe next year, but probably not". Sam remedies this on the last day by sending her another one that reads "It's never too late".
    • Kent gives Sam a particularly beautiful cream-and-pink one.
  • Super OCD: Ally is implied to be one.
  • Their First Time: Planned between Sam and Rob the night of the party, mostly for Sam to "get it over with". But with every loop, the prospect seems less and less appealing — on the sixth day she finally breaks up with him in a mature, considerate manner. The sex never does happen, and she's more relieved than anything else.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: The word "bitch" is thrown around often, but Juliet uses it to great effect when she crashes Kent's party to give Sam, Lindsay, Ally and Elody a piece of her mind.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Izzy loves peanut-butter.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Kent, who's been in love with Sam for years even though she shows him nothing but contempt. Even when she does realize she loves him back, one kiss is all they get before the end.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Sam and Juliet.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Lindsay and Juliet were friends until the 'Mellow Yellow' incident.
  • Wham Shot: After Sam wakes up from what seemed like a bad dream, she checks her phone, and it's Friday again, revealing the plot of the film.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Sam has coveted Rob for a long time, but to the reader he seems kind of dumb and eventually turns out to be a total jerk. It's implied that beneath her praise of him, Sam might be aware of this fact herself, but since Rob is popular she ignores it.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Kent may have a hard crush on Sam. But that doesn't stop him from being appalled at some of her more questionable actions and calling her out for them during at least two of the Day Loops.
    • The first of the days, he's asking her why she's joining in with the other girls who are dousing Juliet in beer.
    • He also writes a note saying "This isn't you" when she tests Mr. Daimler's limits.
  • Wild Teen Party: Kent has one, and it leads to the deaths of Juliet and/or Sam, depending on the night.
    • Elody dies in one of the later book timeloops, since she sits in the passenger seat instead of Sam.
  • With Friends Like These...: Lindsay to the other three.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Played absolutely straight, and the key arc and destination for Sam. She tries to circumvent the "Groundhog Day" Loop she's trapped in once she realizes what's going on. Sleepover with friends which means not being anywhere near the party and the truck crash that causes the loop? Nope, doesn't work. Staying the night in Kent's house and not going on the ride home with Lindsay and the girls? Nope, that doesn't work either. Once she realizes that only Juliet holds the key to ending the loop, and that it will mean the end of her mortal life on Earth, she stops struggling against her fate and fully embraces it.