Me Before You

Film, Drama
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars
Me Before You

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A young woman meets a quadruplegic millionaire in this likeable, thoughtful romcom

This adaptation of Jojo Moyes’ bestseller ‘Me Before You’ might have the structure of a chocolate-and-tissues weepy, but it’s a romcom with brains. The movie manages to shift sensitively from laugh-out-loud moments to tear-jerking scenes, discussing euthanasia on the way. It’s not perfect, but the novel’s five million readers have nothing to worry about: it’s totally loyal to the book (unsurprisingly since Moyes wrote the script).

Emilia Clarke (Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen from ‘Game of Thrones’) plays naïve, unambitious Louisa, who takes a job caring for quadriplegic millionaire Will (Sam Claflin). It turns out Will was a former action man before a motorbike accident left him paralysed from the neck down. Unable to live the life he wants, he’s depressed, angry and ready to die.

Of course, this is a romcom, and since the duo are opposites, they eventually attract, teaching each other valuable life lessons. Louisa gains a sense of adventure while Will learns to adjust to his condition a bit more. It’s not all by-the-book romance, though: the film’s most interesting scenes deal with Will’s life in a wheelchair rather than true love. His embarrassment when Louisa asks a group of men to help push him out of some mud is painfully relatable.

The surprise scene-stealer here is Harry Potter-alum Matthew Lewis (little Neville Longbottom) who plays Louisa’s personal trainer boyfriend and the perfect parody of an exercise-obsessed narcissistic millennial. Claflin does his best Christian Grey impression as Will. Meanwhile, Clarke’s Louisa is perfectly awkward, clomping around Will’s annex with the kind of realism that’s been lacking from romance films since Bridget Jones. The character isn’t perfect though, sometimes coming across as unbelievably dumb – there’s a skit about her calling pesto ‘green gravy’ that just doesn’t work.

Ultimately, compare ‘Me Before You’ to other weepy adaptations (see ‘P.S. I Love You’ and ‘One Day’) and it fairs pretty well. Your mum will love it, and you’ll secretly love it too.

Details

Release details

Release date:
Friday June 3 2016
Duration:
110 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Thea Sharrock
Screenwriter:
Jojo Moyes
Cast:
Emilia Clarke
Sam Claflin
Jenna Coleman
Matthew Lewis