Me Before You (2016)
Will Traynor (Sam Claflin) was a young, athletic, free spirit who had his whole life ahead of him, but when he is involved in an accident leaving him paralyzed from the chest down, he spends his days confined to a wheelchair. Now in his 30s, Will has given up on life and has become a cynical recluse. Louisa Clark (Emilia Clarke) is a fun and quirky 26 year old girl who lives in a home shared with her entire family. Desperate for money, Louisa take a job as a caretaker for Will, and at first the two mix like oil and water, but it doesn’t take long before the 2 become inseparable.
Attention! Me Before You is not what it appears on paper! This movie might look like a happy love story about 2 unlikely people falling in love, and it is to some degree, but this movie is about happiness and friendship. I wanted to get that out there right now because I’m sure many people will be disappointed and heartbroken after they discover the true nature of this movie. Read further at your own risk, I will be spoiling major points so if you want to know my score, jump to the bottom.
Me Before You made me very mad for many reasons, but the major reason is the trick it plays on the audience. This movie is set up for a great romantic story where 2 people fall in love and are happy. What we get is a movie about a girl trying to turn the grumpy cynical Will into a normal person again. They form a good friendship and do friendly things, but the romance is weak and the passion is almost nonexistent. Not to mention, any actual romance doesn’t come to play until the movie is almost over. Louisa has a boyfriend throughout most of the movie, so you get the vibe that she doesn’t have romantic feelings for Will early on and neither does he. They talk to each other like best friends and Will calls her “Clark” like people on sports teams would call a buddy. However, what really pisses me off is the ending. I mean I’m mad about the trick that is played on us. Finally, after all the slow burn romance we had to wait through, Louisa finally breaks down and tells Will how she feels and that she loves him, and he tells her that no matter how strong love can be, his life compared to the life he use to have is so unbearable that he is choosing to euthanize himself. WHAT THE HELL! Are you kidding me! Someone tells you that they are happy with you and love you and want to spend their life with you and your response is because I’m trapped in a wheelchair and can’t surf or run or be active anymore, I need to kill myself?!?! That is so upsetting and heartbreaking to imagine Louisa in that situation and I checked out at that point.
The characters in this movie is what drives the story and they are likeable and watchable but this is no where near the level of The Fault in Our Stars. That movie does young love and tragedy very well and I would rather watch that movie over and over than watch this movie one more time! At the end of the day, I would have much rather watched a true romance with an ending that people could rally behind rather than something that will take the wind out of your sails. Co-starring Stephen Peacocke, Brendan Coyle, Charles Dance, Janet McTeer, Jenna Coleman, Matthew Lewis, Samantha Spiro, Thea Sharrock, and Vanessa Kirby.
4/10 Stars – The likability of the characters is there, but the lack of passion and the horrible ending keeps me from ever wanting to see this again. Just go watch The Fault in Our Stars!