Me Before You
I’m becoming more and more reluctant to go to romantic movies, not necessarily because they’re cheesy and predictable, but because they are starting to look indistinguishable from one another. Me Before You has some great actors in the leading roles, but the story is almost a replica of The Fault in Our Stars, with a little sprinkle of the French film Intouchables.
Me Before You is the story of a super optimistic girl named Lou (Emilia Clarke) who gets a job taking care of a handsome aristocratic young man in a wheelchair named Will (Sam Claflin). As you can imagine it is first hard on poor Lou because Will rejects her help and is all closed up and pessimistic, but she goes through incredible feats to cheer him up and make him see the joy in life again.
The script is as cheesy as it is predictable, and it only has some rare wit. The director Thea Sharrock really just follows the rulebook of her genre and never really gives her film any uniqueness. There are certainly some face-palm moments where you simply can’t help at laughing at the generic-ness (Paris again, really?). You can’t help, but wonder if the screenwriters put any effort at being creative anymore.
But if there is one thing that makes your purchase of a ticket worthwhile, it’s the cast. Emilia Clarke has already shown she can lead an entire television series in Game of Thrones; she tried her hand at blockbuster movie with Terminator: Genisys, but that didn’t work out. I was very glad to see her play a goofier role in Me Before You, she is perfect as the cutely awkward Lou. As for Sam Claflin, we all could see how restrained he was in The Hunger Games franchise, he was bursting for something more, and he’s given that here with much more screen time and a rather interesting character. Claflin gives Will a dimension that isn’t in the script, but despite his best efforts he can’t avoid the tackiness in some of his lines. And then we had a decent supporting cast with the likes of Charles Dance and Brendan Coyle, but I was really happy to see how gripping Matthew Lewis was. You might know Lewis for playing Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter series, in Me Before You he plays Lou’s fitness-obsessed boyfriend, and I was pleaed to see how great his comedic timing was, and how livened up all his scenes.
But in the end the typical script, which strives so hard to be a tearjerker, is simply a bit of a bore. The great leads and Neville manage to make your time more bearable, but unfortunately their efforts only take the film so far.