Me Before You is an emotional love story about the bond formed between wealthy quadriplegic Will Traynor (Sam Claflin) and his carer Lou Clarke (Emilia Clarke). It’s quite an easy-viewing film which is both a pro and a con as it may have had more of an emotional impact were it less so.
Lou Clarke, a well-to-do British girl takes on a job as a carer for the quadriplegic son of an extremely wealthy family. When she finds out he plans to end his life after six months, Lou makes it her mission to show Will that life is worth living and consequently the two fall in love.
The film will easily be a tear-jerker for some of the audience, but it’s pretty light in tone overall. Nevertheless the themes within it are still notable. The story is one that sends the message that love can conquer all, especially in times of great adversity.
Emilia Clarke is fantastic as the bubbly Lou as she uses her charismatic traits to cheer up Will, who is morbidly obsessed with the life he used to live and the things that he can no longer do (he was a bit of an adventurous guy). Sam Claflin plays the character very well, considering all he had at his disposal was his voice and facial expressions.
The film is directed by Thea Sharrock who makes her directorial debut based on the screenplay and novel, both written by Jojo Moyes. It’s a respectable effort by the director for her first film although adding a bit more drama and a bit less schmaltz may have helped the film overall.
Me Before You should appeal to most fans of romantic films but it doesn’t offer much depth in its plot or characters. It still however is engaging enough to keep you interested through the length of the film and it’s almost impossible to say you didn’t like it afterwards, even if you don’t want to admit it.
In the original book “Me Before You” Lou Clarke gets a tattoo of a bumble bee. Emilia Clarke’s first tattoo was also of a bumble bee on her finger.