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