Me Before You is a solid little piece of romance tragedy with an incredible lead turn by Emilia Clarke.
In Me Before You Clarke plays Louisa (but everyone calls her Lou), a girl “with potential” but is too nice and proper to move on from the life she has already established. She lives at home, has a long time doofus boyfriend and has held the same job for years, until she doesn’t. Forced into the unemployment pool, Lou ends up taking on a nursing job, of sorts, for the town’s upper crust family’s quadriplegic son, Will. A young, handsome and formerly sporting type, Will is quite the grump nowadays and is incredibly unhappy with his life, so when super cheery and charming Lou enters his life she is bound to break the man into at least smiling some more.
Now, without spoiling anything, this is a movie being sold as a “bring your tissues” kind of experience. You go to see Me Before You, based off a best selling book, to re-live the sadness of the story with other like minded individuals. I did shed a single tear at Me Before You, but the waterworks weren’t rolling like a lot of the ladies in my theater; they were crying even before when they knew the big scene was about to happen. The film has a lot of heart though, making it easy to get swept up in Lou and Will’s relationship, even if they don’t do a very good job of ending Lou’s previous one.
Now, I won’t discuss story details any further incase you are coming into this thing fresh, but I will say that the film is absolutely worth seeing just for Emilia Clarke’s performance. She is incredible here, and while you might love her as your favorite Khaleesi she is just too lovable as the adorable Lou. Quirky, cute and goofy, Clarke gives a performance you didn’t think the badass Queen of Game of Thrones was capable of. This makes me so excited for her post-Thrones career and I would watch her as Lou for movies on end if they would let me.
Sam Claflin is also quite good as the quadriplegic Will, who convinces us to like him even when he’s a royal asshole for the first third of the film. It helps that we totally get why he feels this way, and I also bought in completely on his decision making process throughout the film. It’s so hard to watch Lou struggle to change Will’s mind on things and I think the film does a pretty good job of honestly representing this struggle as best they can. It also doesn’t hurt that Will’s situation allows for unlimited expenses to be enjoyed.
Me Before You is ready to deliver for those looking for a good cry, but there is a lot of joy and smiles to be found in her too. Emilia Clarke is a revelation as Lou and her chemistry with Claflin makes sure the film is always winning you over. Thea Sharrock’s directorial debut is a solid effort that plays right into what its audience wants, but Clarke elevates the experience as she is something special. If you think Me Before You is for you, you are probably right.
Lauren took a look at the book that inspired the movie here.