Me Before You revolves around the completely ordinary Louisa, Lou, Clark, a girl from a working class family with the most eccentric closet and the original personality needed to accompany it. In desperate need of a job, Louisa accepts a position at the home of the Traynors, a very affluent family in the small town Lou is from. Will Traynor, a once very active and dare-devilish man in both work and play, is recently paralyzed after a motorcycle accident left him with little function beyond the slight movement of one hand. He is a bitter man who longs for the days where he could ski down the slopes with his buddies or just even get himself out of bed. Both Lou and the Traynor family hope that Louisa’s bright outlook on life, even brighter clothing, and quick wit will warm Will’s outlook on life. images-26
When I read the all-star cast of this film, I was immediately frightened that the entire budget went to the casting and other things would fall to the wayside. I am very happy to report this was not the case. If you are someone who cannot separate characters from actors, this film may not be the one for you. The cast includes Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games), Matthew Lewis (Harry Potter), Charles Dance (Game of Thrones), and Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey) to name a few. The actors are so dedicated to their craft that you completely forget who they once played and only see them as the Lou, Will, Patrick, Mr. Traynor, and Mr. Clark.images-27
Me Before You was undeniably an emotional roller coaster. Yes, the movie does address the emotional side of living with a disability and living with someone with a disability, and this may not resonate well with some people. I do not think this was done to offend people, but rather to show how life can change both physically and emotionally in an instant. Also, this is a romance, and the challenges that come with paralysis create a barrier to love that must be overcome, and I think this film did a good job of explaining how difficult it is to overcome that barrier, especially emotionally. But the movie is not all romance; the message at the center of the film is living life to its fullest potential in your circumstance. Whether you are restricted by physical boundaries like Will or family commitments and financial hardships like Lou, one must abandon their comfort zone and simply enjoy life as much as possible.imgres-31
I read the book and had already fallen in love with the characters prior to seeing the film. I knew the storyline, how it would end, and the issues faced in the book. What I did not expect was to laugh as much as I did! Once Louisa fell into her groove and Will realized she was not going to leave him alone, the comedic banter between the two was even better than in the book. Remarks made in the book became hilarious when paired with expressions that can only be caught on camera, and moments captured perfectly in words became mesmerizing on the screen. Some fans of the book may notice a few missing scenes, but the 369 page novel was cut down to a 110 minute film. I think those who read the book will be impressed with the way some of the key scenes from the book made their way to the screen.
I went into this movie not knowing what to expect, mainly because most times I am not a fan of movies based on novels especially the ones from the romance section. I can honestly say this film impressed me. Since I knew the story before watching the film, I knew the back-stories of the characters, the intimate moments that were left on the pages of the book, and the struggles that did not make it to the screen. I took a friend who had not read the book for their perspective as well, and they also said the movie was a good romance and much better than some of the other recent romances. But what can we say; we are both hopeless twenty-something romantics. Romantics, send the thrill seekers in your life to go see the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie or whatever comic book/super action filled movie is playing in the next theater over and go see Me Before You. This movie is absolutely hilarious. I laughed more than I expected with a somewhat heavy topic. I give this movie an A rating if you are a hopeless romantic, like myself, who is fluent in the language of sarcasm and wit, and even if you are not, I promise this movie will make you laugh.
Mary Elizabeth Herries

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