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Me Before You

Coming Soon

Based off the international bestseller of the same name, Me Before You is sure to become an instant classic for this genre. It has all the makings of a cult classic: beautiful and klutzy young woman, a rich and handsome young man, and of course the element known as love. What differentiates this story from other rom-coms is that tragic twist. The young man named Will Trainer (Sam Claflin) is a quadriplegic, meaning he has no control of his body below his neck. He was in an accident two years before and has closed himself off to the world ever since. That is until he meets Louisa Clarke, known as Lou (Emilia Clarke) in this story.
Being quadriplegic is not the tragic twist I’m referring to however, it is in fact the ending in Me Before You that contains an unexpected tragedy for many. No spoilers at this point, if you are one of the people who has not read the novel then I suggest you see the movie as soon as possible because the ending is sure to influence conversation.
Lou is content with her life until she meets Will. She is charged with essentially making him happy and keeping his spirits up for exactly 6 months. She gets paid well to do so but Will is difficult to say the least. In typical movie fashion, he is dismissive and rude before his walls break down. Granted not everything in books can be adapted to film but I think the novel did a much better job of expressing the dismissiveness that able bodied people feel towards the differently-abled.
Fans of the Me Before You novel will be pretty pleased in my opinion. The film hit most of the big points from the book. In fact, the novel’s author, Jojo Moyes also wrote the screenplay; so it is interesting to see which parts of the story she deemed non-essential for the big screen film adaptation.
There’s a grand trip abroad and witty banter as well as fun music and .aerial shots of a grand castle and a quaint English town in the country. Emilia is endearing in her portrayal of Lou and the film’s stylist deserves and award for the adorableness (and accuracy in terms of adaption) of her wardrobe. Sam gives a solid performance and the chemistry is there. Even with all of these elements, something felt like it was missing or unfinished, leaving the ending itself felling a bit rushed.
It’s nice to see fellow British actors Jenna Coleman (Lou’s sister) of Dr. Who and Matthew Lewis (Lou’s boyfriend) of Harry Potter in something outside of the smash show and movie, respectively, that made them famous. Fun fact, Emilia is currently in Game of Thrones and Sam was in The Hunger Games franchise. Combining those titles with the ones mentioned earlier regarding Jenna and Matthew – that’s a lot of nerd power in one film!
I’ve always believed you can love something and look at it with a critical eye. While I appreciated this film and quite enjoyed the novel, there were many aspects of Me Before You that made me scratch my head. The novel raises a lot of fair questions and the activist questioning the novel also raises a lot of fair questions. The conversations about disability rights and assisted suicide aren’t mutually exclusive, nor are they one in the same. It’s good that people are discussing these things. That’s the power of written word and film.

Me Before You is streaming now on the following services:
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  1. I have not read the novel or seen the movie, but based on your article I’m guessing assisted suicide might be the tragic twist spoiler ending you were hinting at. Is it a bring a hankie type of movie? I am still embarrassed from years ago when I saw “A Walk to Remember” in the theater and had snot running down my face from crying so hard. LOL

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