I was invited to an early screening of Me Before You (now in theaters everywhere!) this week, but all thoughts are my own. All photos from the movie are courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Metro-Goldwin-Mayer Pictures Inc. Affiliate links are used in this post.
It has been about 24 hours since I saw Me Before You, a romantic drama directed by Thea Sharrock and adapted by the author, Jojo Moyes, from her 2012 novel, Me Before You. I finished reading the book just a few days before.
I’ve finally stopped crying (I’m only kind of kidding).
I was intrigued by the trailer. It looked like a compelling love story.
About Me Before You: Oftentimes you find love where you least expect it. Sometimes it takes you where you never expected to go…Louisa “Lou” Clark (Emilia Clarke) lives in a quaint town in the English countryside. With no clear direction in her life, the quirky and creative 26-year-old goes from one job to the next in order to help her tight-knit family make ends meet.
Her normally cheery outlook is put to the test, however, when she faces her newest career challenge. Taking a job at the local “castle,” she becomes caregiver and companion to Will Traynor (Sam Claflin), a wealthy young banker who became wheelchair bound in an accident two years prior, and whose whole world changed dramatically in the blink of an eye. No longer the adventurous soul he once was, the now cynical Will has all but given up. That is until Lou determines to show him that life is worth living.
Embarking together on a series of adventures, both Lou and Will get more than they bargained for, and find their lives—and hearts—changing in ways neither one could have imagined.
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some suggestive material.
The cast is impressive, with Emilia Clarke as Louisa Clark and Sam Claflin as William (Will) Traynor. Joining them are Janet McTeer as Camilla Traynor, Charles Dance as Steven Traynor, Brendan Coyle as Bernard Clark, Jenna Coleman as Katrina Clark, Matthew Lewis as Patrick, Ben Lloyd-Hughes as Rupert Freshwell, Vanessa Kirby as Alicia Dewar, Steve Peacocke as Nathan, and Samantha Spiro as Josie Clark.
10 Things to Know Before You See Me Before You
I have struggled over the last 24 hours with what to say about the movie. I want to keep this discussion as spoiler-free as possible for those of my readers who have not read the book while still answering the questions that those of you who HAVE read the book have been asking me.
1- You will cry. Be prepared. If you’re not in the mood to cry, wait to see this movie. Even the man next to be got all blubbery. It’s a powerful, emotional movie that hits you at the core. Does that mean I didn’t like it? Hardly. I loved it. The movie captured the emotion of Will and Lou’s story better than I could have expected. It was powerfully and beautifully done. However, tough things happen. Don’t expect everything to be rosy and wrapped up in a pretty bow in the end.
2- The movie stays surprisingly true to the book. I often worry about seeing a film adaptation of a favorite book. Too often the movie changes too much and I’m left feeling betrayed. I thought that this adaptation, perhaps because Jojo Moyes, who wrote the book, was also the principle screenwriter.
3- There are a lot of things left out of the movie. Yes, I know I just said that the movie stayed fairly true to the novel. However, there were a lot of things left out of the movie completely, such as Will’s sister (he doesn’t have a sister in the movie), the rivalry between Treena and Lou (they get along fabulously in the movie), Lou’s frequent moving homes (she never leaves her little room), Steven’s “friend,” the drunk men at the horse race (I was really looking forward to that scene!) and others.
4- Be prepared for the controversy. I still have very mixed feelings about one of the main topics in this story, namely Will’s desire to peacefully terminate his life after not being able to come to terms with his paralysis. I don’t agree with the practice, so I have a hard time with that aspect of this story.
5- Be prepared to laugh. I wasn’t prepared for the humor. Emilia Clarke is absolutely delightful as Louisa. She could not have been cast better, and definitely adds a ray of sunshine (or two) to a rather depressing situation.
6- Be prepared to think. I’ve had people messaging me privately after hearing that I saw the movie because they were dying to talk about the story with someone who also knew how it ended. Me Before You leaves you with a lot to contemplate, especially how to live your life to the fullest everyday.
7- Read before you watch. I know the movie is in theaters now, but I’d still recommend taking a few days to read the book through before seeing the movie. (You can get a copy or download the ebook HERE). My daughter (who read the book before me and accompanied me at the screening) agreed with me that there is a depth of emotion in the movie that can only be experienced by someone who has spent hours and hours with the characters already. We know what Lou is thinking and feeling already.
8- There is less swearing in the movie. I was grateful for that! I’m not a fan of swearing, so I was glad that they left the worst of it out of the movie.
9- Time will fly by. The movie is 1 hour and 50 minutes long (although I swear, we were out of the theater in less time than that). The movie seems to go very fast. If I had one complaint it’s that they had to move swiftly through a story I would have liked to take a little more slowly.
10- You will want to continue the story. Luckily, Jojo Moyes has a sequel, called After You (which I’ve already started reading….and oh my goodness! It starts with a shocker!
Have you read the book? Are you planning on seeing the movie? Feel free to leave thoughts and questions in the comment section below!
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