Movie Review: “Me Before You”, Starring Matthew Lewis
Me Before You is a guaranteed tearjerker. It tells the story of Louisa Clark (Emilia Clarke), who loses her job at a café, the money from which her family relies on. To make ends meet, she starts working as a carer for Will Traynor (Sam Claflin), who was once a high-flying banker who spent his free time jetting off to foreign countries, windsurfing and skydiving but lost his passion for life after becoming a quadriplegic following a motorcycle crash. They make an odd pair; she’s bubbly, energetic, and “too chatty,” and he’s icy, bitter, and detached. Although he puts on a brave face in front of Louisa and his parents, he suffers from his lack of independence and struggles with the desire to end his life. Louisa tries to make his life worth living again, but she has her own demons to battle as well.
Both Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin play their roles brilliantly. As seasoned film and TV actors, they give really engrossing performances as they tackle deep and complex emotions. They are accompanied by a star-studded supporting cast – including Janet McTeer, Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister from Game of Thrones), and Jenna Coleman (Clara Oswald from Doctor Who). However, Me Before You is a typical romantic movie – and doesn’t really attempt to break out of this mold. The characters have predictable conversations in predictable locations, and even the deep moments in the film feel “typical.” If you’re a sap for romance, you’ll love Me Before You. If you’re looking for something more original, maybe this isn’t the film for you.
Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) has previously spoken about his on-set chemistry with Emilia Clarke. He plays Patrick, Louisa’s boyfriend. We’re introduced to him as he runs laps around a track wearing his “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” T-shirt, and his idea of a good time is running a triathlon. Patrick provides some much-needed comic relief at points in the film that would otherwise be a bit too heavy.
The London screening of the film was introduced by director Thea Sharrock, star Emilia Clarke, and screenwriter and book author Jojo Moyes. They emphasized that having so many women represented within the film cast and crew is unprecedented in Hollywood and that they hope more films follow in the footsteps of Me Before You by featuring more gender equal crews.
Me Before You is released internationally on June 3.
You can read our review of the book, from which the movie was adapted, here. You can also watch the trailer here:
Are you going to see it? Let us know in the comments!