Me Before You tells the story of Louisa Clark, a down on her luck, recently unemployed waitress who takes a job as a caregiver to a wealthy quadriplegic, Will Traynor. A typical odd couple that hates each other but eventually fall in love storyline, Clark tries to win over Traynor from making a difficult decision.
This could also be put into the Tearjerker Tuesday slot, but alas I did two depressing flicks in a row. As this movie began, I immediately hated it. Emilia Clarke aka the Khaleesi of us all, the legendary Game of Thrones Mother of Dragons is serving muffins and wearing “quirky” outfits. She’s the stereotypical “look how awkward and weird but also charming I am” girl that wears multicolor tights and floral shoes and loves being so dorky and clumsy, but is still super attractive. I was not having it.
But then something happened. I don’t know what it was, but I found myself actually liking this semi-decent romance. It’s cheesy, but they actually do have decent onscreen chemistry. They’re relationship is gradual and you actually like them together, even at impossible odds. It’s actually quite sad. And not in like a contrived, CRY NOW, type of way, but after watching them onscreen together for the whole film, the ending is actually quite hard to watch. I won’t ruin it, but it’s pretty bleak so this is another tissue-required movie.
I think the worst part of this movie is the soundtrack. It sounds like they Googled a Chill Pop playlist on Spotify and just shoved it into the appropriate (and sometimes the inappropriate spots). Trust me, you’ll agree when you watch it. “Photograph” by Ed Sheeran plays at two separate occasions within the plot. It felt like more, but I looked it up and it was only twice. So my bad on that one folks. I swear if “Castle on a Hill” had come out at this point, it would be in there too. Since they literally visit a castle on an actual hill. Really missed your shot there Ed. But the soundtrack was obviously made to try and sell a pop album afterwards, but within the plot it felt distracting. It wasn’t a fluid soundtrack with the severity of some of the scenes. I think ultimately it could have been handled so much better, and if they dropped some of the more cheesy and overdone scenes, it might have been a more emotionally dramatic film.
Also fun fact Charles Dance aka Tywin Lannister is in this too, so it happens to be a nice little Game of Thrones reunion. And Neville Longbottom (aka the suddenly attractive Matthew Lewis) is here as a fitness guy. Yeah an athletic heath nut. Neville Longbottom. Who would have known. Good for you Neville.
Anyway, although I think if handled a little differently it could have been loads better, it still hit the heartstrings pretty hard. The two main leads Emilia Clarke and Sam Clafin give decent performances and share a seemingly genuine onscreen chemistry. Still it attempts to tackle some really hard questions, and ultimately I don’t think it succeeds. If the tragic question at its core was handled with more dignity and emotional sensitivity, this film could have been vastly improved.
Amy’s Recommendation: 5/10