Review: Me Before You
If you were to ask any voracious bookworm what their favorite books are, chances are incredibly high that Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You would be on their top ten list. The maudlin tearjerker is cherished and treasured by legions of book lovers all around the world. Think Nicholas Sparks, but with substance. Thankfully the film adaptation has been written by the source’s author, and fans of the novel should be satisfied with the end result, despite its glaring faults.
The film tracks the trajectory of the love story between Louisa “Lou” Clark (Emilia Clarke of Game of Thrones fame), a lower class Panglossian, and Will Traynor (Sam Claflin, The Hunger Games films), an upper class quadriplegic questioning his quality of life. At the start, Lou is hired as a caregiver (he already has a male nurse) by Will’s desperate parents (played by the inimitable Charles Dance and Janet McTeer) in the hopes that her quirky charm and stunning looks will rehabilitate his “will” to live. We won’t spoil the rest but let’s just say it’s not your typical three hankie weepie.
Clarke is a magnetic delight as every-woman Lou, proving she can be much more than just Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains, Queen of the Andals, etc. etc. Speaking of Thrones, fans of the show will giggle with glee every time Clarke gets to act opposite Dance (otherwise known as Tywin Lannister on the hit series). Claflin, on the other hand, is an enormous disappointment as Will. He seems to only operate in two modes-happy and morose-and he’s entirely unconvincing doing both. If he had any chemistry with Clarke all would be forgiven but he’s the James Franco to her Anne Hathaway, giving her very little to work with. It’s interesting to note that in a film written by, directed, and starring women, the most glaring weakness is the male star.