Based on Jojo Moyes‘ 2012 best-selling book and directed by Thea Sharrock, Me Before You tells the story of a 26-year-old girl from a small English town, Lou Clarke (Emilia Clarke), who has just lost her job in her local cafe. With only one option left at the job centre, Lou is employed as a carer by the wealthy Traynor family, despite having no skills or experience, to help support her struggling family. Here, Lou is placed in charge of Will (Sam Claflin), a once successful man who enjoyed all aspects of his life, who is now a quadriplegic, paralysed from the neck down after being involved in an accident. As Lou attempts to show Will what life can be like if he opens his mind, Will encourages Lou to live her life to the fullest as an unexpected relationship blossoms.
The following post is a review of the film only. You can read my review of the book on its own here or my comparison of the film to the book here.
Me Before You is a story impossible not to fall in love with. If you’ve read the book beforehand, then you will be eager to see the beautifully crafted Lou and Will come to life; if not, then prepare to fall in love and just as quickly have your heart broken like never before.
The book is one of those reads that, even though you know what’s going to happen in the end, you can’t help but be filled with hope. Even before there’s any inclination of romantic feelings from either character, it’s obvious that Will and Lou have a deep connection, and their emotions are explored so well that you can really get inside both of their minds.
It is this engagement with the characters that led me to tears more than once and, whilst there have been some criticisms about how the story ends (which I discuss more in my book review), one thing that cannot be faulted is the way these characters are developed.
Having such a brilliantly written book to work from, it is their chemistry that makes this film adaptation such a heart-warming, tear-jerker of a romance.
Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke play Will and Lou perfectly, with the film adaptation capturing their characters individually and their developing relationship perfectly, and it is because they are so likeable and easy to invest in that make this such a wonderful story to see unfold.
Just like with the book, I spent much of the film crying like a baby, as well, and cannot recommend both the book and the film enough for fans of this genre.
Me Before You is incredibly easy to engage with. With two beautifully crafted lead characters, Lou and Will are a joy to follow, and it is their chemistry that will keep your eyes fixed on the screen.