Me Before You hit theaters two weeks ago, and I’m still emotional. Here’s our review of the film + giveaway info for a movie-tie in paperback of the novel!
I read the book several months ago after caving when I saw the trailer for the movie. You can find that review here. If you’re not familiar with Me Before You, let me give you the rundown.
Louisa Clarke is in desperate need of a job. She’s helped keep her family afloat since he father lost his job. When a particularly well-paying job comes available, she’s willing to take on a role she’s never done before, caregiver to a disabled man.
Will Traynor had absolutely everything, and it was taken away in a split second. He’s come to terms with his life and given his family six months until he gracefully ends his suffering.
When Lou and Will come together, they clash at first but as a friendship blossoms, they teach each other valuable lessons about what living is and how to move beyond what you’re given.
Rating: 5 of 5 STARS
I’ll start with this first…Me Before You was the perfect adaptation of the novel, in my opinion. It combined humor and heartbreak so well that I was smiling for a majority of the film. Even during the parts that were heartbreaking, the characters still made me smile at their banter. It was through tears, obviously, but still.
Emilia Clarke plays Lou perfectly. She’s charming and quirky. The moments she truly shines are when she’s trying to bring Will out of his isolation. She’s so earnest in her dedication to him.
Sam Claflin plays the struggling Will Traynor. His wit and sarcasm are always visible, but there’s an undercurrent of vulnerability sometimes that makes you truly understand that under his vibrato, he’s in pain. His heart is breaking just as much as Lou’s during their beach talk, and I’ll be forever hurt by the subtle differences in that conversation that seemed to make it so much more than what was said in the book.
The other members of the cast are just as amazing. Lou’s family, Will’s family, Pat. The cast is beautifully and thoughtfully assembled.
Apart from the cast, all of your favorite parts from the novel are there—the concert, Lou’s birthday party, the trip to the island, and Paris. There are some parts that are cut out, but because Jojo Moyes wrote this screenplay, she manages to allude to some things and the ones she leaves out don’t hurt the story she’s telling.
The setting tells of Lou’s dislike of change and desire to be in a place she knows without risking anything. It also speaks to the contained life that Will lives, and how he can’t escape
Now, this isn’t to say that other people with a similar medical diagnosis can’t live or want to live a full life, but for Will, his current state wasn’t one that he wanted to be regulated to.
This story was always about Will’s decision.
I’ve never read the title as meaning, Lou Before Will, and her hoping to change his mind because of “love”, but Will Before Lou because, even though he knows he could have a good life, it wouldn’t be the life he wanted for himself. The ending was never going to change due to Lou’s influence. It was only going to make it bittersweet because it shows that sometimes love isn’t enough.
In the end, you’ll never hear “You are scored on my heart, Clarke.” in any other voice other than Sam’s and you will find yourself smiling through sobbing. Lou will go on and with the lessons Will has taught her, she’ll live her life more fully, just like he did before his accident.
That’s the main point to take away from Me Before You…
Live boldly and live well.
If you haven’t read the book, or you adore the novel and would like a chance to win the paperback with the film’s tie-in cover, all you have to do is comment on this post with your favorite scene from the film or your favorite difference in the film and book!
For me, it has to be Lou’s birthday dinner and those bumble bee tights! That entire scene was just beautiful and happy.
The giveaway starts today, June 14th, and will run until 5 PM ET on June 18th!
This contest is open to everyone!