Writer: Jojo Moyes – Screenplay and Novel
Starring: Sam Claflin, Emilia Clarke, Vanessa Kirby, Eileen Dunwoodie, Pablo Raybould, Gabrielle Downey, Steve Peacocke and Henri Charles.
When Lou Clark (Emilia Clarke) loses her job as a waitress at a café, she takes a position as a carer for the cantankerous quadriplegic, Will Traynor (Sam Claflin).
Born the eternal optimist, Lou works at winning a smile from a man who is literally on suicide watch.
Me Before You follows the relationship between Lou and Will, taking the audience through the highs and lows of a once adrenaline junky who had life in the palm of his hand to a man completely reliant on others to function in life or to even get out of bed.
So, between the super cheesy soundtrack, the Mary Poppins reincarnation exhibiting the most expressive eyebrows I’ve ever seen on film and a storyline made to squeeze tears, you can guess I’m not a fan of these drama/romance/tear jerkers!
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I can also say that Me Before You was a heartfelt story with lovely moments and well-paced drama.
I couldn’t help but love Lou (even with those eyebrows), with her quirky outfits and genuine love of life and people: I’ve never hated anyone,’ she says. And yes, she’s believable if not ditzy.
Will Traynor was suitably irritable, with the two characters set up in a narrative formula of cranky meets sweet.
Aussie actor Steve Peacocke as Nathan was a pleasant surprise: a no nonsense nurse who takes on the heavy lifting – a practical character who added a realistic view of Sam’s injury.
But the cheese of the soundtrack!
Look, I felt this movie, I really did. There were tears and not a dry eye in the cinema. And it wasn’t because it was all sad and disability, there was mostly a lightness, carried by the optimistic Lou. But, it’s a story made to pull the heart strings – romance crossed with the tragedy of debilitating injury leading to the controversial contemplation of euthanasia. Not a storyline I’d usually go for, but a film well-paced with thought put into the characters and effort put into the build of the relationship between Sam and Lou.
If this is your sort of movie, yeah, it’s great. But you need to be in the mood for this one. Make sure to bring the tissues.