Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie is a feature on The Candid Cover spotlighting and reviewing book to movie adaptations.
I attended an advanced screening of this film on February 19, 2017 in Toronto, ON.
Author: Lauren Oliver
Narrator: Sarah Drew
Publisher: Harper Audio
Cast: Zoey Deutch, Liv Hewson, Jennifer Beals
Director: Ry Russo-Young
Screenplay: Maria Maggenti
Summary (From Goodreads): What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?
Samantha Kingston has it all: the world’s most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death-and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.
If you have been following along with this feature for a while, you may have noticed a theme: most movie adaptations of books are usually not as good as the original text. I am thrilled to announce that the movie adaptation of Before I Fall does not fall into this trap. The audio version of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver is an incredible and powerful story that delves deep into how our actions affect the lives of others. The film, Before I Fall is a brilliantly adapted movie that is diverse and contains wonderful acting.
This past summer, I devoted time to listening to the audiobook of Before I Fall and let me tell you it is quite a commitment to listen to a 12 1/2 hour story. The first thing that draws me into an audiobook is the narration and Sarah Drew narrates the book beautifully. The main character, Sam, is one that listeners will most likely not relate to at first due to her essentially “mean girl” attitude. However, as the book progresses and Sam relives the day over and over again, the real Sam begins to emerge and it is in her desperation to set things right that she redeems herself. This is a story that is gripping and haunting, while exposing the truth behind Sam’s death.
It is so exciting when you see a movie adaptation that is so well done. Honestly, I would sit through a 10 hour movie if it meant the screenplay would follow the book to a tee! However, there is not much of a chance for that to happen. Maria Maggenti has chosen many aspects of the original story to include in the film and has kept the “bones” of the novel that Lauren Oliver wove into Before I Fall. Interestingly, the film seems to be more diverse than I perceived the book to be and it makes the story that much more compelling. Also, the acting is fantastic and Zoey Deutch portrays Sam perfectly.
This is absolutely one movie that I can say is a fantastic adaptation. It is not necessary to read the book before seeing the film, but I highly suggest it. There are many details that have been omitted from the screenplay that add to the understanding of the story, but are not needed to enjoy this film. I am looking forward to seeing this one a second time. It is that good!