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Me Before You Review: Not A Dry Eye In Sight


Fans of Jojo Moyes’ bestselling novel have been waiting years for the film release of Me Before You but it’s finally here. When people ask me what my favourite book is, Me Before You is always one of the titles mentioned (see review here). I have never read another book that wrenched my heart out the way this story did and I cried for hours after this story finished. It’s the sort of story that leaves you thinking about it for days afterwards and led me to do lots of research about the themes discussed such as paralysis and others I won’t give away. I’d describe it as The Fault in Our Stars for adults, but way, way better.

Me Before You begins when Louisa Clarke is made redundant. Money is tight for her family so she immediately takes herself off to the job centre to find something new to do and rather unexpectedly ends up hired by the wealthy Traynor family to care for their quadriplegic son, Will. At first, things are very difficult with him. Will used to be very successful, wealthy banker before he was involved in a motorbike accident two years prior that left him paralysed from the chest down. He is cynical and bitter but gradually Lou’s cheer and persistence wear him down and Will starts to enjoy parts of life again. Both lives are irrevocably changed by their meeting – but how?

Just one day after release we can see that the critics have given Me Before You a rating of 54% on Rotten Tomatoes but audiences have ranked it at 85%. This is the sort of film that critics were always going to hate on and to be honest, a lot of the points that prominent critics have made are very valid. However, at the end of the day, most people go to the cinema to be entertained and any film that can wrench audiences’ hearts out is well worth a watch in my opinion. There were a few laughs across the cinema throughout the film, but when we left, there wasn’t a dry eye in sight. Actors who can make you both laugh and cry in the same film, sometimes all at once, deserve some sort of recognition in my opinion as it’s no easy feat. Me Before You is both a comedy and a tragedy and somehow both elements fit together very well.

Emilia Clarke’s interpretation of Lou as a cheerful, rather silly, young girl comes across well on the big screen and you can’t help but smile at her constant high spirits. I wish more people like Lou existed in this world as I’m sure the world would be a much happier place. However, I could not write a review of Me Before You without discussing Emilia Clarke’s eyebrows. What’s going on there?! I have never seen more expressive eyebrows in my life. Eyebrows definitely not on fleek in this case. A lot of the emotional scenes were ruined for me because of Emilia Clarke’s excessive facial expressions, which on occasion made me want to laugh out loud. These lapses of over-the-top acting did bother me slightly but do not ruin the overall film, which I suppose is all rather dramatic anyway. It is hard to know whether this is a failing of Emilia Clarke or an attempt to really get into her role as Lou who is thoroughly silly. 

In contrast to this, Sam Claflin’s performance as Will Traynor was really excellent. I imagine it is really rather difficult to play a quadriplegic man realistically when you yourself have full control over your own body. Will is a tortured character who struggles massively because his new life is so different to his former one and Claflin conveys this character’s pain to us well. He went from grouchy to cheery to loveable and proved himself to be a very worthy Will Traynor.

To those who have hit out against Me Before You because of the way it portrays disabled people, all I have to say is this is a work of fiction. It is partly inspired by the true story of rugby player Daniel James and is just one scenario for disabled people. I do not believe that Jojo Moyes or the film writers are trying to make any sort of comment on what it’s like to have a disability, this is just one person’s story. If the story had had a happy ending, I’m sure other people would have hit out saying that they’ve made disabled life look far too cushy. There’s just no winning. I personally think it’s a step in the right direction that a major blockbuster featuring a disabled man as the protagonist has been released as it still helps to raise awareness.

All in all, Me Before You is not bad at all as book to film adaptations go, but I can see what the critics complained about. The emotional pull factor aids this film greatly despite its flaws, but the emotional drama still keeps viewers entertained and I didn’t see a single dry eye leaving the cinema. For those who are unsure if they’d like to see this film following critics’ reviews, I’d tell you to ignore the professional critics. No, Me Before You is not going to win an Oscar, but it will have you on the brink of both tears and laughter for almost two hours and it is a simply unforgettable story. 

Watch Me Before You online now here

Have you seen or read Me Before You? What did you think of it? And what do you make of this backlash from the disabled community?

If you liked this post, check out these:

Book Review: Me Before You
A Guide to Paris in Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Film Review: Midnight Sun

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  1. Hungry_Healthy_Happy
    6th June 2016 / 10:48 AM

    I really want to go and see this. I am not sure that I could convince my husband though 🙁

  2. Harriet @ Toby&Roo
    6th June 2016 / 1:09 PM

    I have heard so much about this and my best friend wants to see it so I will be heading to the cinema soon! Not really my cup of tea but I LOVE Emilia so I’ll enjoy it for sure 🙂

    • 12th June 2016 / 10:58 AM

      Emilia is one of my favourite actresses at the moment 🙂 Let me know what you think if you do see it!

  3. 6th June 2016 / 2:24 PM

    I really want to see the film but first I need to read the book so I can compare the two and see which I prefer. Plus I think it is important to raise awareness of disability, people are becoming way too PC these days!

    • 12th June 2016 / 10:58 AM

      The book is most definitely better so get your hands on that first! 🙂

  4. Elodie
    6th June 2016 / 3:32 PM

    Sounds like such a good film. I’ll try to look beyond the eyebrows though. If I could do it for Emma Watson’s in Harry Potter, I’m pretty sure I can do it for this. Ha!

    • 12th June 2016 / 10:59 AM

      Hahah that is very true! These eyebrows are on another level though…

  5. Samantha Reveley
    6th June 2016 / 4:48 PM

    This film looks amazing! When I know a film is based on a book, I always try to read that first though! Need to get onto that asap!

    Samantha xo |

    • 12th June 2016 / 11:00 AM

      Yes definitely read it before watching it as it’s a “shock factor” story!

  6. Subhadrika Sen
    6th June 2016 / 4:58 PM

    Aah this movie has been doing a lot of rounds lately. and most of friends have gone to see it. your review gives me the perfect reasons to go and see it for myself.

  7. Sabrina Barbante
    6th June 2016 / 5:31 PM

    I think, after reading your review, that I must go and see it! This must be lovely

  8. 6th June 2016 / 6:34 PM

    This film sounds great, something I would like to watch

  9. 6th June 2016 / 7:16 PM

    This is a film I definitely cannot support for a number of reasons. I think we need to listen to why disabled people are upset/concerned, instead of brushing it off as ‘just fiction’.

  10. 6th June 2016 / 9:00 PM

    I loved the book so I’m really looking forward t watching the film and seeing how they’ve adapted it. No doubt I’ll sob allover again x

  11. Melanie Edjourian
    6th June 2016 / 11:10 PM

    This looks like a great film and I am hoping to go and see it. I will ignore the eyebrows!

  12. 6th June 2016 / 11:49 PM

    This sounds like a lovey dovey kind of movie. My favourite.

  13. 6th June 2016 / 11:53 PM

    This sounded like a sweet movie. It’s too bad about Emilia Clarke’s expressions. I’ve actually never seen her in anything yet!

  14. Kira L Curtis
    7th June 2016 / 12:58 AM

    I still haven’t even read the book! I really need to because I can’t wait to watch this movie!!

  15. 7th June 2016 / 1:04 AM

    I have to admit I haven’t seen this or read the book – I’m not sure I could cope with it to be honest. I can understand the backlash at it. But I can also understand why someone may choose to take those steps. x

  16. 7th June 2016 / 6:44 AM

    I have seen the trailer of this movie before because I thought the poster looks so nice. I think the female character`s outfits are good.

  17. 7th June 2016 / 6:47 AM

    I have seen the trailer of this movie before. I think I will like both the book and movie.

  18. 7th June 2016 / 7:43 AM

    Sounds like a very interesting film. Interesting to note the difference between the critics and audience ratings!

  19. 7th June 2016 / 7:47 AM

    Any film that gives you all the feels (laughing and crying) is a good film! Your comment about the eyebrows made me chuckle – I imagine they were the kind of thing that once you’ve noticed, you can’t unsee!
    lily kate x

  20. Carrie Chady Rundhaug
    7th June 2016 / 8:28 AM

    I haven’t read the book but I definitely want to go see the movie. It looks so good!

  21. Hannah Heartss ❄️⛄️
    7th June 2016 / 3:50 PM

    I want to read the book before I watch this but the reviews keep putting me off!

  22. Laura
    7th June 2016 / 4:51 PM

    I went to go to see this yesterday and absolutely LOVED it. I thought that it was a really great nod to the book and I’m so pleased they didn’t ruin it like so many other books-to-movies I’ve seen! xxx

  23. Rashmi & Chalukya
    7th June 2016 / 7:21 PM

    We are yet to watch this after reading through so many reviews on it. Thanks for review we may make to it this weekend

  24. Sheena
    7th June 2016 / 8:09 PM

    I heard this movie was really good. I’m not a big fan of crying in the theater, so I may have to wait and rent it and cry in the privacy of my home!

  25. Sam Brez
    7th June 2016 / 9:26 PM

    I have this on my list to watch, will make sure to take some tissues with me!
    Great review though, very thorough

  26. Fatima Ali
    8th June 2016 / 1:39 AM

    This movie sounds nice and also reminds me that I haven’t watched a movie since a long time so now it is time to watch one. Don’t really want to shed some tears though!

  27. 8th June 2016 / 4:27 AM

    I love the way you write, it’s the second time that you’ve inspired me to watch a film I wouldn’t normally see. Thank you.

  28. adapperchick
    8th June 2016 / 9:08 AM

    I am dying to see this! I love watching movies about great romance stories. Beautifully written review.

  29. 8th June 2016 / 2:39 PM

    i NEED to watch this. gotta make sure I’m not wearing any makeup when i do

  30. Rosie Heather Roman
    8th June 2016 / 2:54 PM

    Great review – I can’t wait to see this! I really want to read the book too but I’m just so busy at the moment.

    Rosie | http://www.rosieromance.com

  31. 8th June 2016 / 4:51 PM

    I really want to see the movie and I am very sentimental when it come to romantic movies so you might see some tears lol…

  32. 8th June 2016 / 5:13 PM

    I love watching great movies with happy endings! Thanks for posting!

  33. 9th June 2016 / 12:15 AM

    From what I have heard the film is staying quite true to the book. I enjoyed the book but wasn’t as wild about it as some other people I’ve spoken to. I would go and watch the film though – if only to witness those brilliant eyebrows!

  34. Tina Horton
    9th June 2016 / 2:35 AM

    Aaaah! I honestly slipped most of it in case of spoilers but I LOVED the book when it came out. The ending. 🙁 You should check out her other books 🙂

    • 12th June 2016 / 10:05 AM

      I’ve only read her short story ‘Paris For One’ but I own lots of her other novels. Which would you recommend?

  35. 9th June 2016 / 3:22 AM

    I have never heard of this book before. I think I will read it before seeing the film.

  36. 11th June 2016 / 1:25 PM

    I’ve heard a lot about this film due to all the controversy. To be honest though it sounds like my sort of story – a sappy love story! I’ll probably try to see it at some point.

  37. Juliette Theureau
    16th June 2016 / 4:57 PM

    Wow, what a review :O
    I want to read the book for quite a long time now but as I’m French, I can’t find the original version anywhere. But when I heard that the movie was coming out I thought I would do something about it (but I don’t know what actually ^^) And some reviews say that they’re good (both), some say the opposite, some others find one good the other bad … I don’t know what to do ^^ But I read this review, and I’m gonna read what you thought of the book and I hope it will help me to fix my mind. 🙂

  38. Sandy Segur
    23rd June 2016 / 9:12 PM

    This sounds like a really good noel. I enjoy reading books like this. I now read only via the internet, that way I can increase the font size.

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