Movie Review: Me Before You (2016)

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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.

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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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Series Review: Downton Abbey Season 6 (CONTAINS SPOILERS)

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Rating: 9/10

It is a very well-known fact that I own the title to the biggest Downton Abbey fan that has ever lived. I adore everything about the show – how very British everything is, a look back into a lost era and the class systems. That and the excellent costume design, dramatic sequences and veiled sarcasm that only the British can manage? The show was designed for me. Downton Abbey came around at a time where I was desperately tired of the vulgarity of shows like Game of Thrones – yes, shoot me, I know there is an enormous fan base, but is anyone else tired of it? It has no class and it has no style and senseless violence.

Anyway, now that I’m done sounding like a pompous little prick, let me tell you what I loved about Season 6 of Downton Abbey. Clue: Nearly everything.

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What I liked:

Anna and Bates. These two have had so many plights throughout the show that I’d been thoroughly exasperated at the end of Season 5. Like can they just stop being accused of killing people or stealing or whatever?! Sheesh. The season ended so sweet for them that this I was willing to cry of happiness for them. I was.

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Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes. Everyone knew they should marry because Mrs. Hughes is the only one on earth that can sass Mr. Carson right back. I loved this entire story arc and they managed to pull it off in such a way that it wasn’t fake or annoying and just seemed so lovely that two people could find love nearing the end of their lives.

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Edith and her Bertie. Oh, Edith. How you’ve grown on me. Arguably the most beleaguered character ever, frequently by her own design, but Edith Crawley somewhere grew a backbone and received a purpose in life. I loved her Bertie too – here was a man tailor made for her, kind, caring, and could properly assess the complexity of her relationship with her surviving sister. Their wedding is the most romantic thing I’ve seen since Mary and Matthew’s wedding SOB SOB SOB.

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Mary’s incredibly attractive new counterpart, Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode). Where has this man been all my life?! Mary made me so angry. I’ve always been a Mary fan but when she nearly messed up Edith’s life (AGAIN), I was legitimately pissed at her. In my mind the best version of Mary will always be the woman she was when she was married to Matthew, but I found that Henry Talbot had all the wonderful characteristics of my beloved Matthew and could influence her as well. And I reiterate – Matthew Goode is so beautiful.

The darling boy they cast as Matthew Crawley’s son – it ripped out my still bleeding heart but that child could really be the child of Dan Stevens.

Tom returning – let’s face it, everyone loves Tom the most.

How perfectly happy everything ended. Some people will roll their eyes at how tidily every arc was wrapped up and how everyone got their happiness.

I’m mentioning Edith’s wedding again. The happiness. The romance. How deserving she was of her big moment.

The new puppy – awwwwww

What I didn’t like:

Spratt and Denker. I don’t know why these two got so much time in the show. Their quarrels were annoying and silly and it really grated on me.

Daisy. The character has always been a hit and miss for me but she truly grated on my nerves in the final season. She comes across as an ungrateful and immature child, and I just wanted to smack the petulance out of her.

That big fright with Lord Crawley’s health scare. DON’T DO THAT TO ME AGAIN, DOWNTON.

Well, there you have it. My favorite show has come to an end. I will always rewatch this show and even though I am sad that it has ended, I applaud Julian Fellows for stopping while they were ahead. Gosh Downton, I’m going to miss you.