Director Ry Russo-Young is back with this week’s new release Before I Fall. Based on the book of the same name, the story follows Samantha (Zoey Deutch), a young girl with a close group of friends and a pretty good life going for her. One night she and her friends are invited to a party and have a good time until they all get into a car wreck on the way home.
Suddenly Sam finds herself reliving the same day over and over again. That process begins to eat away at her perception of her perfect life, forcing her to evaluate who her friends really were, what her life was about and what it was all leading to. She has to make decisions that would have been been unthinkable but she has to make some hard choices based on new perspectives before the time she has left runs out.
“What if today was the only day of the rest of your life” is the copy at the top of the one-sheet, which starts to hint at the movie’s story. That’s reinforced by the design, which splits the photo of Deutch into several fragments to symbolize how the one day is being replicated over and over again from slightly different perspectives. Below the title treatment the audience is told this is based on a best-selling novel.
We meet Samantha as the trailer opens and she talks about how she doesn’t have any tomorrows. Then we meet her friends and see they’re the cool girls in school, having a great time and going to the best parties. After one such party they’re all driving along and get into an accident. But she wakes up and finds she’s reliving the same day again and again and again. There are things she tries to do differently and times she tries to alter or change how things will play out but it always ends the same way, presumably until it doesn’t.
You’d be blind not to compare this to Groundhog Day and the story seems to structured in largely the same, with the main character stuck in a loop but trying to learn something from the situation. There’s some good stuff here and Deutsch looks like she gives a suitably emotional performance and the movie will likely appeal to the same crowd as other YA adaptations.
The second trailer hits many of the same notes as the first but takes a slightly different tack. It still shows the loop that Samantha gets stuck in after the accident with her friends but it’s less focused on that than it is on her efforts to change things after she realizes what’s going on. She realizes that maybe if she makes different choices then things will turn out differently and so we see some of that play out.
It’s maybe a tad more effective than the first simply because it focuses more on Samantha’s character arc than just going deep on the premise.
Online and Social
When the official website loads there’s some full-screen video that plays on the front page. There’s a big prompt to buy tickets below the title and in the lower right there a re links to the movie’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat profiles.
Scroll down the page – or use the menu on the left – and the first section here is “About.” That gives you a decent synopsis as well as Cast & Crew list. “Photos” and “Videos” offer a section of each as they’ve been posted to the Tumblr blog.
That’s about it, which is about right for the movie and the target audience here, particularly the promotion of the Snapchat profile, which is something that’s not seen on many movie sites.
Advertising and Cross-Promotions
Oddly, I can’t find anything for this category. No TV spots are on the site or are on YouTube. And it’s likely there were some online and outdoor ads but I haven’t seen any nor have I been able to find any.
Media and Publicity
The first bit of publicity came when it was announced the movie would have its official premiere at Sundance 2017. That screening garnered a lot in the way of positive buzz, much of it directed specifically at Deutsch, who was tagged as giving a superb and wide-ranging performance. Ry-Russo spoke during the festival about what attracted her to the story, what it meant to have it screen at Sundance and more.
No, this campaign isn’t breaking any new ground. And yes, the comparisons to Groundhog Day – it’s been referred to as “Groundhog Bae” – are natural and make some amount of sense. But it doesn’t seem like the movie should be dismissed quite so easily. It’s actually a pretty compelling story of finding out who you really are and growing in new and unexpected ways after being given a second chance.
The campaign plays up that journey nicely. The poster compliments it in how it shows the different facets of Samantha as she goes across the different days of her purgatory-like existence. A couple of strong trailers really make the case for this to be a showcase for Deutch’s performance as well as the compelling story of a teenage girl who’s comfortable existence is rocked when she finds world she’s known for so long is turned upside down. We readily get the sense that she finds out things that are upsetting to her and makes her question everything around her.