When I read Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver I was blown away. I’m a fantasy girl at heart and most contemporary style books for me come off average. So with low expectations and not much idea of what it’s about I dove into Before I Fall and came out drowning in emotions. So with these emotions still suffocating my mind I eagerly went and saw the movie adaptation, but was it as good as the book?
Before I dive into my thoughts let me give you a little basis on what this debut novel by Lauren Oliver is all about. The book follows teenager Samantha Kingston on her favourite day of the year, cupid day. She’s popular, has a great group of friends and her life’s a big party. Until on that day, she dies in a horrible car crash. But the next day she wakes up, except it’s not the next day. The book and movie follow Samantha’s journey of living her life repeatedly trapped in that one day. Now I’m not going to say any more than that, and I urge you to just give it a read before you make any final thoughts about the plot. Because it may seem cliché, but it is so much more.
So now let’s get on to the movie adaption. Overall I was impressed with how well the movie kept to the book. Visually and plot wise it was very similar. A few little details were missing but mostly they kept all the major important details. They followed the popular story well and didn’t try to make it into something different, which often happens with book adaptations. And most importantly, they kept the message. I did find Samantha more likable in the start of the movie rather than the book, which isn’t really a good thing. But I think that was mostly due to the fact that we get so much more insight and inner dialogue with a character in a book. I also wish we’d gotten more of a mental breakdown in the middle of the movie, but I can excuse that as there probably wasn’t time. But I was thoroughly impressed with how much they stuck to the story that so many people adore.
So as I talked about earlier, I felt so many emotions when reading the book. And this for me was what was lacking in the movie. Now let me just state, when you watch this movie you will probably cry and it definitely punches you hard in the feels. But for me it was lacking the emotions I felt when reading the book. But I don’t at all blame the movie for this, they followed the message and character development amazingly. But I think because I had read the book first it dimmed the emotions the movie gave me. When reading a book, you are simply closer to the character and their emotions, so when you have a book that is focused so much on feelings, it hits you hard. And movies just can’t reach that level of attachment and understanding. This movie will make you feel but I think if haven’t read the book and don’t know what to expect you will feel it a lot more.
Overall, this movie is enjoyable, meaningful and devastating, just like the book. I highly enjoyed both of them, and although I enjoy the book a bit more I think the adaption stayed true to the story and did it justice.