I went to an Unlimited screening of Me Before You and having read the book this summer, I went prepared with a tub of ice cream, a packet of tissues and a lot of heart to give.
I was and was not disappointed. Let me explain. The director was used to plays so all the acting was superb – Emilia Clarke’s interpretation of Louisa Clarke was flawless – and those eyebrows!
I actually can’t believe the main character in me before you is actually daenery targaryen from game of thrones like holy fuck
— Siân (@Sianhowells_) May 14, 2016
They could sing a symphony just by themselves.
— Edward Phillips (@RealEdPhillips) May 16, 2016
Her wardrobe is quirky and colourful and the hairstyles are exactly what you would expect from Louisa – the ugly duckling turned pretty woman again.
Her co-star, equally gorgeous and amazing actor , Sam Claflin – you might recognize from “The hunger games” movies.
They both played their roles to the max and I don’t think they could have done it better.
The bad parts: I didn’t cry. I know the movie banked a lot on the sentiments of women, especially since they have an entire marketing campaign dedicated to women sharing their crying faces on twitter with a #CryFace tag… but I didn’t cry at all. I was dry as the desert at noon. I was even chuckling (to the horror of my neighbouring movie watchers) as I found the drama to be a bit over the top. All I could think of was this guy:
So when the main drama unfolded, when he told her in the most beautiful and romantic setting that he still wants to die, I could see how this was done in a Soap-opera manner to attract the most emotional outcome from the audience.
OK, OK, I am over-rationalizing but I can tell you three other areas where the movie fell short of the book.
- Louisa’s background has a dark secret. About a maze. And some drunk tourists. Not mentioned in the movie at all – they probably wanted to keep it off the shocking movie list for this year. It also explains her quirky taste in very bold colours and fashion outfits.
- Louisa’s family is going through a set of dramas which were only briefly mentioned in the movie – the harsh economic climate that would make a man over 50 practically un-employable, the financial pressure Lou is under to keep the family afloat – her literally supporting her house-wife mother, an elderly grandfather and her unemployed father. Her sister also has a child out of wedlock and quits her job as a florist to return to uni to get a diploma. Even the arguments about which bedrooms should be allocated to whom are not included.
- “The Running Man” – while being almost an obsessed man in the book with no redeeming qualities, is made into a cardboard figure in the movie – truly one-dimensional. No mention is made of the way that he and Lou were together for 7 years but were no more serious than when they started dating and it’s only when Will Trainer makes a suggestion for her to move into the main house that he asks his girlfriend to move in with him. #Desperation 🙂
The redeeming part of the movie is the vacation. In the book, they never did manage to have it as he fell ill with pneumonia and they had to cancel it all. They re-imagined the holiday with the two of them together, a kiss here and there and the heart-breaking (for others) harsh reality of him not being able to be good enough for her.
Stephen Hawking did it so why couldn’t he? I understand that they didn’t want to go too much in a debate about assisted suicide, but they should have put a bit more effort into showing the audience the pros and cons for such a decision. They were actually happy on that island… why couldn’t they stay there? He would not have gotten pneumonia that much and they could have lived there easily as he was quite rich.
People not included in the movie: Will Trainor’s sister who flies in from Australia and tells him off for his selfishness.
I would rate the movie a solid 4/10, having points dropped for flying over details that would have made the movie better and for that awful montage in the middle with Lou studying. That was so 90’s!
Good chick flick though and if you want to win a trip to Mallorca, don’t forget to take a picture of yourself in tears and tweet it to @warnerBrosUK and #CryFace.
This is mine: