Review: Me Before You

When the job makes you a whole new person...

Louisa Clark (Emilia Clarke) is perfectly happy just existing in her small English town. When the cafe she's worked at for six years closes down, and her family counting on her pay check, she takes up a job caring for a quadriplegic man named Will (Sam Clafin) who hates his life and just about everyone in it. Lou attempts to cheer him up and ends up with a completely different view on things herself.

I read the book based on a recommendation from a friend. I wasn't crazy about it, though it did have some parts I enjoyed. I didn't have high expectations going in based on that, and I probably shouldn't have been shocked at the amount of romance movie cliches ended up on this.

But I was. Too many musical interludes of characters 1) Thinking about something real hard. 2) Having a good time and 3) having a bad one. The way too staged romantic shots (Hey Lou, go stand by the window with your top slightly unbuttoned so the winds from the storm can make it sexy!) Actually, what surprised me the most was the grittier parts of the book they left out. Well, gritty for a romance novel, anyways

Book spoilers ahead

You see, Will hates when other people try to make decisions for him and think they "know better." He actually brings it up quite often in the books and explains very thoroughly to Lou how she can remedy it. He does this exactly once in the film and treats it as an afterthought. Will barely has any personality in this  at all other than "asshole" and eventually "smitten." But the biggest change is actually a huge part of Lou's character herself. If you've seen the trailer, you've seen how she dresses. It's quirky to say the least, and she's quite content with her life and is afraid to branch out. But they never address why. In the books, Lou goes out drinking one night and ends up sexually assaulted by some of her high school classmates in the gardens. She dresses odd as a coping mechanism. She no longer wanted to look desirable or like every other girl out there because of what happened to her, and they completely removed this story from her in the film. She's just an odd duck for no reason, never mind that this trauma shaped her in the book. It felt like a strange thing to let go of considering it was a huge fucking deal.

Clarke is always a hit and miss actress. She gives the occasional great performance on Game of Thrones, but she's not very strong here. She reminded me of Emma Watson and let her eye brows do all the acting. It's slightly annoying because you know she is capable of being good. Clafin was great though, some of the emotions that had to play across his face are heartbreaking.

Rom Coms are definitely not for me, but I will say I loved the scene of Louisa getting her bumble bee tights in the film just as much as I did in the novel. It still stands out as my favorite moment.

Recommended: No

Grade: C

Memorable Quote: "It's too boob-y, isn't it?" - Louisa Clark (Emilia Clarke) 


  1. I don't have much desire to see this. Not because of whether or not it is insensitive to disabled people. If it is, that's unfortunate. But it just isn't my type of movie.

    1. I'm not sure how this is offensive to disabled people? It's about a disabled person making the choices HE wants to make. But people are offended by everything nowadays.

  2. I saw the poster for this at the theaters, not knowing dick about it. I like to sometimes see something totally blind...but passed anyway.

    Now that I know what it's about? Eh. Probably wouldn't have dug it that much.

    Though the blouse thig by the window sounds like something I might've enjoyed...

    1. It's so corny though, omg. Like paperback romance novel cover bad.

  3. Nice review! I liked the book/movie but I didn't really love it. There were some interesting parts butI didn't think the movie was produced/marketed in the right tone (Nicholas Sparks esque). It was really disappointing that not only did they leave out Louisa's trauma, but at least in the theater I was in, Will's struggles were mistaken more for comedy (like when his wheels get stuck in the mud). A lot of opportunities were missed to make Will a much more dynamic character instead of just serving Louisa's dreams. It's not very surprising though. Some of Thea's interviews are a little messed up....

    I haven't watched Game of Thrones so I haven't really seen Emilia in anything but I liked her here - especially her clothes. lol Sam was wonderful though!

    1. Yeah, the horse racing scene was a lot more harsh in the novel, he didn't even blow up at her at the end of it. They really chose to forego a lot of character development just to fit the Sparks tone, like you said.

    2. Yeah, exactly. Unfortunately, Thea in a lot of interviews talked about not wanting to make audiences uncomfortable - so that's why they left out the maze scene and a lot of essential moments for Will too. :/


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