"Me Before You" (2016)

Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama
Directed By: Thea Sharrock
Written By: Jojo Moyes
In Theatres: June 3rd, 2016
Runtime: 110 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures

Young and quirky Louisa "Lou" Clark (Emilia Clarke) moves from one job to the next to help her family make ends meet. Her cheerful attitude is put to the test when she becomes a caregiver for Will Traynor (Sam Claflin), a wealthy young banker left paralyzed from an accident two years earlier. Will's cynical outlook starts to change when Louisa shows him that life is worth living. As their bond deepens, their lives and hearts change in ways neither one could have imagined.

Emilia Clarke is brilliant! Such a great actress. I enjoyed this film more than I thought I would because of her. Her character is so bubbly and clumsy. I love her outfits as well, they’re all so bright and bring so much colour to the film! She’s so bouncy and quirky, it’s impossible not to fall in love with her even a little.  

Oh, and hey, hey – Matthew Lewis is in this film! He’s come a long way from the lovably hapless Neville Longbottom, hasn’t he? He doesn’t have a very big part, mind you, but I felt this was worth mentioning. 

Sam Claflin is pleasant to watch as well as Will. One thing that did strike me is how the film speaks of the amount of pain Will experiences. The characters tell Lou about it a lot throughout the film yet as viewers we never actually witness it. I think it would have benefited the film, had we been given a at least a glimpse into this, as opposed of simply being told about it. The whole ‘show, don’t tell’ idea is there for a reason!! It would have added so much to his character for sure. For me at least, I would have felt more towards him, particularly at the beginning of the film when he was constantly irritable and unpleasant to be around.

(My next paragraph may contain minor spoilers for those who haven’t seen it, just fyi) The main conflict of the film is the fact that Will seems determined to end his life and wants to go to Switzerland where it is apparently legal to carry out such actions with assistance. Lou tries to change his mind and show him that life can be worth living even if you’re disabled. This is all very fine. Good in fact. It’s a very positive message for those who also have a disability. Or for anyone, really with or without. However, then the ending came and… Well, what was the point? I ask you, why? Why was such a deflating ending necessary? Simply to make us cry? How cheap! How clichéd, even! No, I didn’t agree with it at all. It was needless and quite frankly distasteful and a complete let down to what could have become a poignant success. With this, I was extremely disappointed.  

Also, I must ask this question – Is there some unwritten agreement between scriptwriters and other filmmakers that every disabled character a film stars must be an irritable, sceptical and cynical gob-shite at the beginning of all their movies? I’m sorry if that is somehow offensive to say but I’m also quite sure that in reality, yes there might be some people who happen to be disabled who feel this way about the world, but more often than not, there are those who are polite to their new care-givers and happy to meet and get to know them. It just seems to be a trend that in films they mustn’t act this way upon first greeting. “The Fundamentals of Caring”, “Inside I'm Dancing”, what have you. It’s getting clichéd for me at this point. And here “Me Before You” is no exception to this cliché. I admit it’s probably a nice way of introducing a character arc or development but…is it really necessary as much as it’s used? Maybe this is just me…

You see, truth be told, and I think you all know this, this film is lovably predictable in many, many ways. We all know what’s going to happen here before we sit down to it (we can even guess the disagreeable ending), but we go along for the journey anyway! It’s a cute story overall. So, it’s a journey I recommend people tag along on. Excluding the outcome, I would give a thumbs up for this little romance.