Movie Review: Me Before You (2016)

me-before-you-2016-1

Plot: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of color. And neither of them knows they’re going to change each other for all time

Rating: 6/10

If you read my review of the book here, you’d know that I enjoyed the book. Me Before You is quite the controversial book with a whole lot of people being upset about the approach to both paraplegic patients and euthanasia. I’m definitely pro euthanasia, and while I certainly understand why people are against it, I DO feel that people often look at it from the survivor’s perspective and not from the patients’ perspective. This is however not a debate about that, so let’s talk rather about the film.

It lacks the personality of the book. Some filler information was left out of the film, which was a good thing because there are times where the book does feel winding. It does leave out some things that should have been included though – you are never privy as to why the bond between Lou and Will becomes so strong. You also never see how sick and uncomfortable Will is, and how much he lost after his accident. Despite the impressive acting from Sam Claflin, he still at times comes across as a petulant rich white kid in a wheel chair, which isn’t what Will was in the books.

I did like that the relationship between Will’s mother and father is much better in the film. The book has them on the edge of divorce and I think that the story has enough melodrama without a crumbling marriage as well.

I didn’t like that they underplayed the difficult relationship Lou has with her sister. They are basically frenemies in the books, and turned into besties in the film. Lou’s home life is pretty bleak in the books, and apart from the discussion of some financial woes, you never really get to understand how much Will changed Lou’s life.

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The two main characters were well cast. I find Sam Claflin a really accomplished actor and he is able to bring Will to life as much as the script writers allowed him too. I had some issues with Emilia Clarke – her facial expressions were all over the show. She did manage to be Lou though, and I liked that.

lou-bumblebee-tights

I loved the adaption of this scene! Really exactly what I imagined in the book. It was sweet and hilarious and showed the difference between Will and Lou’s frankly terrible and egotistical boyfriend.

Why the low rating you ask when I keep mentioning the things I liked? I thought it didn’t reach the emotional depths of the book, it didn’t show us why the two characters became so attached, it never really displayed how much Will actually lost after his accident. Basically if you see this film you will be a little sad, sure, but reading the book broke my heart in the way only a really good story can. What I’m trying to say here is that Me Before You is not a terrible adaption, but it does lack the heart to make it truly heartbreaking.

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10 thoughts on “Movie Review: Me Before You (2016)

  1. Absolutely, totally in agreement with you here my friend! It was okay, but forgettable when all is said and done. They never hit the reasons that this was so important – like you say, how much he changed her life, etc. I did prefer the parents’ relationship in this one though.

    • I also preferred the parents’ relationship in the film – it was added drama in the book. Not a completely rotten film, but definitely not on the book’s level!

  2. Those issues you mention would be a deal breaker for me. The book was by no means perfect, but I loved how beautifully Lou’s domestic situation was outlined. I also actually liked how Will’s parents break down under the strain. It made the book so much more well-rounded. I hate stories where there are just two individual characters. Real life isn’t like that.

    • Lou’s domestic situation is virtually ignored in the film. It was one of the biggest mistakes they could have made as it highlights how much Will changed her perspective on life. The parents are a happy supportive couple here, which I liked, but I get what you are saying – with such a sick person there is a lot of strain that always ends up showing on the other family members.

  3. The scene with the bumblebee tights was my absolute favourite! I really think I need to read the book, it sounds much better than the movie – and I really enjoyed the movie! 🙂

    • The book was great! I’m not going to say it was fun – way too depressing for that. but really really good! Glad you enjoyed the film 🙂

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