Title – Me Before You (2016)
Director – Thea Sharrock (feature debut)
Cast – Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Janet McTeer, Charles Dance, Matthew Lewis
Plot – Eternal optimist Lou Clark (Clarke) finds herself falling in love with quadriplegic Will Traynor (Claflin) after she takes up a job of becoming his permanent friendly companion.
“Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle”
Review by Eddie on 16/02/2017
Featuring the strange proposition of The Mother of Dragons living a life where she cares for the tragically paralysed son of Tywin Lannister, Me Before You is 2016’s attempt at becoming “the big romantic hit” as debut director Thea Sharrock adapts Jojo Moyes well liked book of the same name, which is in turn a rejigged version of the 2011 hit The Intouchables into a totally over the top and highly overdone romantic drama.
In what’s her highest profile gig outside of the 6 seasons of playing Game of Thrones beloved dragon mother, Brit star Emilia Clarke goes next level of loving life as the seemingly carefree and unflappable stocking loving Lou Clark who takes up the job of becoming a friend to The Hunger Games Sam Claflin’s quadriplegic Will Traynor, that will in turn see the two fall tragically in love as Will contemplates ending his now unfortunately paralysed life.
It’s an intriguing idea, if not totally original and there’s potential here for many tears, laughs and smiles but everything within Sharroack’s film feels either forced, full of fakery or misjudged emotional manipulations as Clarke in particular suffers from her role in the film that allows her to go completely wild with her unfortunately annoying and coy Lou and it really does beg the question of how much of a career she may have outside of the GOT universe if she continues on in this fashion.
Lou Clark may just be last year’s most intolerable creation, as while we all love someone that sees the brighter side of life, this is something else entirely as Clarke and her eyebrows, over extended smile and genuine ADHD tendencies trample the films chances as Lou and Will’s relationship turns from forced friendship to genuine love.
Clarke needed to dial back her role especially as Claflin gives his all as Will (even if you’ve never seen a quadriplegics body looked quite this toned before) and while the film clearly connected with its ready-made target audience as evidenced by its respectable world-wide box office and audience ratings, it’s unlikely that many will be remembering the hard fought romance of Lou Clark and Will Traynor as we’d remember the Noah and Allie’s or Edward Lewis and Vivian Wards of the movie universe.
A refreshingly kind spirited movie that just never connects emotionally or engages thanks to a so-so structure and a completely misguided female centrepiece, Me Before You will be a favourite to those that loved the movie before they even saw it but for the rest of us, this sappy, cringe-worthy and forgettable romance just doesn’t cut the romantic mustard.
2 fit Neville Longbottom’s out of 5