Before I Fall
is based on Lauren Oliver’s young adult novel of the same name. It begins as 17-year-old protagonist Samantha Kingston (Zoey Deutch) is killed in a fatal car accident as she and a friend are driving home from a party. When she wakes up the following morning, with vivid memories of the incident, the high school senior soon realises that she’s reliving the last day of her life over and over again. Although initially unsure about why, Sam comes to understand that she’s stuck in the loop until she adjusts her actions and works out what choices she needs to change.
Here we outline any topics, issues and ideas in this movie that might upset children and adolescents, so that you can gauge whether it is appropriate for your child. For example, children and adolescents may react adversely to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, separation from a parent, animal cruelty or distress, children as victims, natural disasters and racism.
Death; suicide; personal growth; redemption; bullying
Here we identify any violence in this movie, and explain how and why it might impact on your child or adolescent. In general, movie violence can make children less sensitive to the use of violence in real life. Alternatively, they may become fearful about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world. In some contexts, it can also teach them to see violence as an acceptable means of conflict resolution.
Before I Fall has some violence. For example:
- A character commits suicide by running in front of a car (this occurs in an alternative version of reality).
- Teenage characters bully each other. Behaviour includes pushing and throwing things.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Before I Fall has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example, there’s a fatal car accident in which Sam apparently dies. The car is shown rolling.
Children in this age group are likely to be disturbed or confused by the plot of Before I Fall, which features a girl reliving a day over and over again after apparently dying.
Children in this age group might be disturbed by the movie’s themes.
Younger viewers in this age group might be disturbed by the movie’s themes.
Before I Fall has some mild sexual references. For example:
- There are references to wearing protection while having sex. Characters say things like ‘No glove, no love’ about using condoms.
- Characters flirt with each other.
- Characters talk about losing your virginity.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Before I Fall shows some use of substances. For example, teenagers drink at a party while their parents are out of town. One character gets drunk and throws up as a result of having drunk a lot. The same party features several times throughout the movie.
Nudity and sexual activity
Before I Fall has some partial nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- Many teenage characters kiss at a party, as well as in the lunch room at school.
- There is one scene involving sex, which shows a young couple in bed together. They’re only half-dressed.
- One female character exposes her bra to several others, although this is done in a funny way rather than a sexual way.
The following products are displayed or used in Before I Fall: Apple products like iPhones and Macbook computers.
Before I Fall has some coarse language and derogatory phrases or insults.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Before I Fall is based on a young adult novel that depicts a journey of personal growth and development.
Sam moves through five stages of grief over the course of the movie. As she does this, she begins to readjust her priorities and discovers that the things she previously valued are much less important than she thought. As a popular high school student from a wealthy family, she initially feels a sense of privileged entitlement that sets her apart from the social misfits in her class. But this gradually shifts as she goes through a process of acceptance that permanently changes her.
The movie’s themes and coarse language make it most suited to older teenagers. It isn’t recommended for viewers under 14 years, and parental guidance is recommended for children aged 14-15 years.
You might like to talk with your children about the movie’s main themes. You could also discuss the consequences of bullying and of the risky behaviours shown in the movie.