Me Before You is a romantic drama film based on the novel of the same name by Jojo Moyes. The film stars Emilia Clarke who plays Louisa Clark, a young woman with an eccentric sense of fashion. Since her father had lost his job she is struggling to help support her family as best as she can. When a care taker job opens up, the amount of money is something she cannot refuse. After being interviewed she is offered the job and meets the man she will be caring for. Will Traynor, played by Sam Claflin, was a successful businessman and ladies man who had it all. There was nothing he couldn’t do and few things he hadn’t already done. When he is hit by a motorcycle while walking across the street, he finds himself paralyzed and resigned to a wheelchair. Although Louisa has a charming and bubbly personality she finds it difficult to crack Will’s somber exterior and she does her best to help him through. When Louisa finds out that Will has inquired into assisted suicide in Sweden, she creates a book full of activities that Will can still do while in his wheelchair to show him that there is still so much more to live for.
The film is rather uneventful when you look back on it, aside from some few obvious situations, but rather relied very heavily on the emotion of the story.
SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t already know how the story plays out I suggest you stop reading now because I have decided to go further into the story. Suffice it to say that the story delves into a rather difficult topic, one which the book most surely explores further than the film, but if choosing to watch the film you may need a tissue or two. If this does not effect your resolve then please, by all means continue reading.
So Louisa is this adorable young woman who has a bright beaming smile and a very eccentric way of dressing. She has many wonderful characteristics making her a great catch, but she is almost too predictable and too scripted. Will Traynor is also in the same boat. Understandably devastated handsome millionaire confined to a chair which is such an extreme contrast to how he lived his life before the accident. There are many elements about the story that I imagine the book touches on more, and you really have to think about them in the movie before forming your opinion. As noted, Will has decided to end his life knowing that although he is capable of having a life with Louisa and doing things he will enjoy, he will never be able to enjoy them the way he would before the accident. It’s a very difficult subject to discuss as on one hand he is being selfish by choosing to end his life leaving behind devastated parents and even his new found love Louisa. On the flip side, he truly has only just met Louisa and there are also painful ailments that he must withstand in combination of his paralysis and of course the fact that it is his life and his choice. Very controversial. The story also includes a bit of a love triangle by including Louisa’s boyfriend Patrick, played by Matthew Lewis. Patrick is also a rather scripted character and story by being the boyfriend of Louisa who loves her but really has no common interests and are completely all wrong for each other but seem to be together as a part of small town relationship coupling. Patrick is jealous of Will and Louisa’s relationship, likely because Will and Louisa’s short relationship has more chemistry and love than Patrick and Louisa’s lengthy relationship.
Emilia Clarke was adorable in her odd clothing and beaming smile, but in a way if it wasn’t for her clothing she would always just be standing there will that odd smile and nothing more. On the topic of odd smiles, Sam Claflin (who most of us remember him from the Hunger Games films) has a very wide crinkling smile that boarders on disturbing which bothered me from his first appearance on the Hunger Games. Surely these are all horribly superficial facts and should not be used to judge their acting skills, but what I have told you is something you will not un-see and will forever be in your mind when you see them both.
The film effectively uses music to build scenes to help make the audience choke up with tears but oddly enough ends on a somewhat positive note. Everyone loves a happy ending, but I must say, if the ending was arranged and some of the song along with it, the film would have driven the knife further into our hearts leaving us balling instead of sniffling.
In some situations like this I would be tempted to read the book to get that extra look into the situation and probably realize a lot of things I would have missed or possibility misinterpreted. Unfortunately, I am choosing not to pursue the book and know that I will never be watching this movie again. It is an interesting story with emotion, so if you feel like having a sappy sunday, perhaps wait for this one to appear on Netflix curling up with a blanket, tissues and chocolate.