Maria Maggenti

Groundhog Day in high school: Reliving teen angst proves effective in new drama about growing up

Sam (Zoey Deutch) is stunned to realize she is reliving the same day over and over.

Gen Xers who still have a hard time grasping that all the cool, disaffected icons of their youth (Ethan Hawke, Winona Ryder, Kyra Sedgwick, to name a few) are cast as parents now — and of teenagers no less — will be especially disconcerted by Before I Fall, a teen drama in which the lead actress looks remarkably familiar. Sure, Zoey Deutch had the one major female role in Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!! last year, but that’s not it. If “Miss Amanda Jones” plays in your head when you see young Zoey on screen, it’s because she’s an absolute dead ringer for the ultimate popular ‘80s It Girl herself: Lea Thompson, who has passed the torch of teen angst on to her millennial daughter.
[read the whole post]