Film Review – Me Before You (2016)


Title – Me Before You (2016)

Director – Thea Sharrock (feature debut)

Cast – Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Janet McTeer, Charles Dance, Matthew Lewis

Plot – Eternal optimist Lou Clark (Clarke) finds herself falling in love with quadriplegic Will Traynor (Claflin) after she takes up a job of becoming his permanent friendly companion.

“Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle”

Review by Eddie on 16/02/2017

Featuring the strange proposition of The Mother of Dragons living a life where she cares for the tragically paralysed son of Tywin Lannister, Me Before You is 2016’s attempt at becoming “the big romantic hit” as debut director Thea Sharrock adapts Jojo Moyes well liked book of the same name, which is in turn a rejigged version of the 2011 hit The Intouchables into a totally over the top and highly overdone romantic drama.

In what’s her highest profile gig outside of the 6 seasons of playing Game of Thrones beloved dragon mother, Brit star Emilia Clarke goes next level of loving life as the seemingly carefree and unflappable stocking loving Lou Clark who takes up the job of becoming a friend to The Hunger Games Sam Claflin’s quadriplegic Will Traynor, that will in turn see the two fall tragically in love as Will contemplates ending his now unfortunately paralysed life.

It’s an intriguing idea, if not totally original and there’s potential here for many tears, laughs and smiles but everything within Sharroack’s film feels either forced, full of fakery or misjudged emotional manipulations as Clarke in particular suffers from her role in the film that allows her to go completely wild with her unfortunately annoying and coy Lou and it really does beg the question of how much of a career she may have outside of the GOT universe if she continues on in this fashion.

Lou Clark may just be last year’s most intolerable creation, as while we all love someone that sees the brighter side of life, this is something else entirely as Clarke and her eyebrows, over extended smile and genuine ADHD tendencies trample the films chances as Lou and Will’s relationship turns from forced friendship to genuine love.

Clarke needed to dial back her role especially as Claflin gives his all as Will (even if you’ve never seen a quadriplegics body looked quite this toned before) and while the film clearly connected with its ready-made target audience as evidenced by its respectable world-wide box office and audience ratings, it’s unlikely that many will be remembering the hard fought romance of Lou Clark and Will Traynor as we’d remember the Noah and Allie’s or Edward Lewis and Vivian Wards of the movie universe.

A refreshingly kind spirited movie that just never connects emotionally or engages thanks to a so-so structure and a completely misguided female centrepiece, Me Before You will be a favourite to those that loved the movie before they even saw it but for the rest of us, this sappy, cringe-worthy and forgettable romance just doesn’t cut the romantic mustard.

2 fit Neville Longbottom’s out of 5

17 responses to “Film Review – Me Before You (2016)

  1. The movie got Will right. But Lou was just so bubbly without any demons. It left out an important character detail about her when they first began to bond from the book.

  2. I hated this book and I hated the movie. To me it was morally repugnant to show suicide as a valid choice for someone with quadriplegia without any therapy or trying out other life options. How about getting him a job where he can contribute? Instead they take him to the beach and a concert and then we are supposed to accept this ending as living boldly! It really offended me

  3. Good review. Personally, I liked this movie. Yes, I did read the book and not a huge fan of these types of movies, but I did enjoy it. I loved Emilia Clarke in this movie (and all her outfits). The movie isn’t perfect, but its better than most Nicholas Sparks adaptations films.

  4. Hahaha 2 fit Neville Longbottoms :’D Nice rating!
    I actually enjoyed this as a romantic movie, since I ususally don’t like romantic movies. I also didn’t like the solution of the story that people who have to use wheelchairs don’t have any perspective in life anymore. But I liked how Will gave Lou another insight to life and to chase her dreams. The movie actually made me sad and happy at the same time.
    Clarke’s eyebrow acrobatic really is a thing :’D And I actually think that she is a great actress with a lot of potential. I really do hope that she will star in more challenging movies after this.

  5. I love both the book and the film however I do feel the film was rushed like they were trying to squeeze everything in to make it an hour and and half or however long it was. They cut out some of what I think were key moments and yes I have to agree Clarke’s smile got on my nervous she didn’t particularly look pretty when she smiled and in the film she ignores her boyfriend Patrick so we hope he gets dumped and she goes for Wil. I still loved it anyway and imagine dragons song at the end was the cherry on top beautiful song for a beautiful film.

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