Film Review: Me Before You (2016)

One evening last week I took a bowl of Ben and Jerrys ice cream to bed with me and decided that I was in the mood to watch a romantic film. When Me Before You popped up on Netflix, it felt like the right time to give it a chance. I wasn’t keen on the book. Having said that, I didn’t really give it a fair chance. I started Me Before You maybe a year ago now, got about two chapters in and gave up. Maybe I was tired or stressed but it seems obvious that I made a mistake, because I absolutely loved the film.

Being a huge Game of Thrones fan (honestly really is one of the best TV series ever made!) I was interested in seeing how Emilia Clarke settled into a very different role. Daenerys Targaryen is very stoic and statuesque, whereas Louisa Clark is a bit of a scatter brain, dresses in all colours of the rainbow and has a very vibrant and chatty personality. It was really strange to see Emilia Clarke acting as what seemed more like a young girl than an actual woman and although at first I wasn’t entirely convinced, I did manage to build a strong likeability for Louisa’s character.

For those like me who haven’t read the book, the film follows the story of two characters – Louisa Clark and Will Traynor. When the film begins, Louisa is working happily in a café. Until she gets made redundant that is and is forced to find a new job elsewhere. Louisa’s quirkiness makes it difficult for her to fit into a bog standard office or professional career, so she ends up going for an interview to be a carer instead. Her client is Will – who has been left paralysed from a motorbike accident. As I’m sure you can imagine, we then follow their journey to falling in love with one another as they grapple to consider how a relationship like theirs could work.

There was nothing overly special about the casting choice of Sam Claflin as Will Traynor, apart from the fact that he is very obviously quite beautiful. There didn’t seem to be any real chemistry between himself and Emilia Clarke, but they portrayed the chemistry between Louisa and Will exceptionally, regardless. The romance of the film was established perfectly. As was the issue of physical intimacy – which was neither overplayed nor underplayed. Visually, everything really did feel as if it was slotting into place.

Overall, the film was oddly quite a joy to watch. Although there are some notable sad parts to it and it will make you weep uncontrollably as it approaches its end, it is an enjoyable experience overall. Most of you have probably seen it by now but for those of you who haven’t, I really don’t want to give too much away. But it will be going in my box of romantic films to watch on a rainy day, with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for sure!

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