Me Before You - Review

PG-13 | 1h 50min | Drama, Romance
Review - Kimberly Mungle

*In theaters June 3rd*

SynopsisA girl in a small town forms an unlikely bond with a recently-paralyzed man she's taking care of.

ReviewWhen I read Me Before You it broke my heart in half…it made me angry…it made me sad…and honestly a little depressed when I finished the last page.  I strongly believe that if a book can take you on an emotional journey like that, it’s a great story.  When I heard a film adaptation was in the works, I wasn’t sure how successful it would be.  I mean, we all know, it’s nearly impossible to get all the important elements of a novel squished into 90-120 minutes of screen time.

Me Before You is the story of Louisa Clark (portrayed by Emilia Clarke), a girl who believes she is quite ordinary.  She has ordinary jobs, and an ordinary family, and an ordinary boyfriend.  When she is let go from yet another employer, she reluctantly takes a position as a “carer” for a quadriplegic man.   She is desperate to make the job work so that she can help her family make ends meet at home. 

Will Traynor (portrayed by Sam Claflin) is anything but ordinary.  He has traveled the world over - hiked the highest mountains, skied the lowest valleys, and swam the clearest oceans.  He’s had beautiful girlfriends, loads of friends, and a highly successful career in acquisitions.  And then he is injured in an accident and becomes paralyzed - confined to a wheelchair with very little movement in his arms and legs.  He has no choice but to depend on others for the most basic of care.  And of course, his mother has now hired a quirky overly-positive girl to serve as his companion.

As Louisa and Will’s relationship develops, Louisa attempts to show Will that his life can still be great.  And while Will is convinced his life will never be as good as it was, he attempts to show Louisa that she is the one who still has the potential to have anything but an ordinary life.  Me Before You is a beautiful and unique love story that will reiterate the importance of living the best life you are given.

This film is rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some suggestive material.  If you are curious about the novel/film comparison I would say it follows fairly closely.  Some details (quite a bit of Will’s medical/physical issues) are left out and some story-lines are modified slightly to make the film work.  The overall feeling of story is the same.  I would definitely say if you enjoyed the book or this genre in general, see it!  I took my 16 year old daughter (who had not read the book) and we both enjoyed it immensely although we did go through quite a few tissues.  

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