Film Review: Me Before You
Release date: 3rd June 2016
Director: Thea Sharrock
Starring: Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Janet McTeer, Charles Dance, Matthew Lewis, Jenna Coleman
Runtime: 110 minutes
Genre: Drama, Romance
Watched in: 2D
Rating: 3/5 stars
Me Before You, adapted from Jojo Moyes bestselling novel, follows Louisa ‘Lou’ Clark as, desperate for a job, she takes on the role of carer for the paraplegic Will. It’s a romantic drama, with some comedic moments and some teary-eyed-tissue-grabbing moments. I haven’t read the book, but the script was adapted from the book by Jojo herself and would suggest the film is similar to the book (but not necessarily). There has been some controversy over the representation of disability and assisted suicide in the film. I’m not going to dwell on this too much and focus on what I thought of the film and don’t want to spoil what happens through talking about it, but it is a very important discussion. I do feel it could have dealt with the issue with disability better, having a more balanced view about disabled life and assisted suicide, which may have given the film more depth and substance. I can understand why many people are angry with how it is portrayed in the film.
It was an okay film. That really is the perfect word to describe it, and why I gave it a three star rating. It wasn’t exactly bad, but it wasn’t great either. To start it was quite slow and afterwards looking back at it, not much happened really.
The acting was great. There wasn’t a weak performance from any of the main cast. Emilia was excellent as the bubbly and eccentric Lou and I found the character incredibly likeable. They did a very good job with what they had to work with. This could have been a really great film if what they’d had to work with had been better.
There were plenty of people laughing and crying during the film. I found myself genuinely laughing at some very amusing moments, and also crying a little at the end (but I cry at lots of films so that’s not much of an indicator of its tear-inducing capabilities). There is some issue with bringing a serious and sensitive topic like this and putting it into the setting of a rom-com.
I will return to the word I used earlier: okay. I’m glad I went to see it, but I won’t be rushing out to buy the DVD. It has been surrounded by controversy about its representations of disability, but perhaps this will mean people will be more aware about the sensitivities of the topic and the importance of how these topics are portrayed.