MOVIE REVIEW: Me Before You

The best-selling novel is about to hit our screens and will probably become the biggest chick flick of the year.  People are always telling me that calling these types of movies chick flicks is dismissive, yet they are happy to call the book a chick lit book.  However the writer of the book is the writer of the screenplay and after a few minutes you can see the clear targeting to the market of their choice.

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The story is about Will, who lived life with the dial right up by the 11 mark, and after a tragic road accident is left in a wheelchair and paralyzed from the neck down.  Lou is a girl from the same small town who is happy in her life, but when she loses her job and her family is counting on her to provide to keep them going she takes a role of companion with Will.  It’s not the first choice for either of them but is just what they both needed.  Soon the resistance to the new arrangements fade and they start to enjoy the company of each other.  Lou’s boyfriend Patrick is unsure about the new job but is more focused on his life than Lou’s.  Will have a plan, a deal that he’s made with his parents, that he would give them six months before heading to a Swiss city to end his life on his terms.  Lou finds this out and wants to show Will that his life is worth sticking around for and that he can still make choices about his life.

Ok you may think that this is just not for Gar, your wonderful friend in the reviewing world, and I’m about to rip it a new hole.  But I can’t.  I may have to hand in my man card.  I don’t know if you know this but I have a physical disability and it’s only getting worse.  At the moment I need crutches to walk but sooner or later that’s going to be a happy memory.  This film hit so close to the bone that the knife actually touched the bone.

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The Mother of Dragons Emilia Clark plays Lou and it’s such a great venture away from her fantasy role that it’s nice to see her perform here.  Lou is a free spirit and dresses in a way that just makes you wonder if she has sight, but it works for the character.  Playing Will we have Sam Claflin who never seems to get the better roles that he’s well capable of playing at least until now.  He plays the headstrong man who is trying to adjust to his life now, he has lived with passion and excitement and been successful, the accident changes the access to the wonders of the world that he loved to be part of.  Now he has to live with his rich parents, played by Charles Dance and Janet McTeer.  All the cast members manage to give their all, even those who have smaller roles than their talent deserves.

As Will and Lou progress with their relationship you start to hope for them.  You want them to have some form of life together.  Clarke plays Lou to the point that you forget her other role and the chemistry between herself and Claflin is wonderfully subtle.

I know that this film is going to do well, I can tell that there will be a lot of men bringing their girlfriends or wives, or maybe even both of them to this film.  There will also be a lot of girls night outs that will involve this film in some form or another.  I want to tell my fellow Men that they shouldn’t fear this film as much as they think they should.  It’s a beautiful tale that makes you think about your own choices, your own freedoms, and the love who volunteers to spend time by your side in the good times and the bad.  The ending of the film, don’t worry I don’t do spoilers here, is uncompromising and realistic.

This wouldn’t be my choice for a date night movie, unless I was in the dog house, but I really enjoyed the story and the whole production.  The sleepy English village setting, the chemistry between the players, and the elegant script just make you sit back and fall in love with the characters.  I shall gladly offer up my man card now!

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Director: Thea Sharrock
Writers: Jojo Moyes
Stars: Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Janet McTeer

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