Before I Fall ★★★

The beauty of being a high school senior in your second semester is that it can seem like nothing matters for a minute. Friendships have been sealed, college applications have been submitted, and everyone is fully aware that the end of summer is going to shake things up like an etch-a-sketch, forcing them to start over from (what feels like) scratch. For a lot of teens — particularly the privileged ones — that brief period of time is a perfect storm of personal agency and emotional recklessness. Never again will they have so little responsibility, either to themselves or to each other.

It’s enough to make someone feel invincible, enough to make them feel like things are going to be this way forever.

Ry Russo-Young’s smart and sensitively told “Before I Fall” takes that idea as literally as possible, but it’s for that reason that her film is ultimately able to pry something powerful from its trite premise. The movie might be little more than a “Groundhog Day” remake set in high school (a description that feels both reductive and right), but if you’re going to make a ripoff of “Groundhog Day,” then high school is one hell of a place to set it.