“Before I Fall” (Open Road)
By Catholic News Service
Sound values underlie this conversion story. But the path toward its positive conclusion takes twists and turns that will give the parents of targeted teens pause in considering whether their kids should travel it.
A seemingly successful high school student (Zoey Deutch) dies in a car crash, only to awaken again on the morning of her last day on Earth, a period of time she is forced to relive over and over until she discerns what she needs to change about her life in order to escape the cycle. The relationships she has to reevaluate include those with her closest pals (Halston Sage, Cynthy Wu and Medalion Rahirru), her shallow boyfriend (Kian Lawley), the less glamorous but more caring lad (Logan Miller) who has loved her from afar since childhood and a troubled schoolmate (Elena Kampouris) she and her clique torment.
Among the values the heroine of director Ry Russo-Young’s drama — adapted from Lauren Oliver’s 2010 novel — adjusts is her attitude toward romance and sexuality. But her starting point on this journey finds her besties celebrating the fact that she is about to lose her virginity, and presenting her with a condom for the occasion. Together with some of the language in Maria Maggenti’s script, such behavior makes this a risky proposition for any but grownups.
Semi-graphic premarital sexual activity, partial nudity, underage drinking, a single use each of profanity and rough language, a mild oath, frequent crude talk, mature references, including to homosexuality. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.