Saturday, September 3

Me Before You

Prior to reading the novel earlier this year, my interest in the adaptation wasn’t much – it won’t hurt to miss it, or go ahead and watch it. Needless to say, after the novel (and countless loops of the trailer – thanks, bookstore), the expectations for the movie were a bit high. Emilia Clark and Sam Claflin looked perfectly cast for the role. I ended up anticipating this, and instead I was left with mixed feelings.

Louisa Clark is a small town girl who was hired to be a caretaker of Will Trainer, a quadriplegic who used to be quite a thrill seeker. Initially, Will wasn’t receptive of Louisa until he started to gradually accept her in his life. While they are developing their friendship, Louisa finds out something involving Will’s situation and sets herself to persuade him to change his mind. 

As far as adaptations go, this too took liberties to remove bits and pieces that would otherwise make the tone of the movie go in a different direction. The central story was still there, but bits and pieces about the characteristics and personalities of the characters were either toned down or changed for the benefit of the plot. Adding a few more things from the book would have taken the movie in a different route, but it would also have more content to work with. 

My biggest disappointment for the adaptation was the lack of connection between Louisa and Will. The performances suited the characters, but dialogue after dialogue I had to wonder how these two developed feelings for each other. Their story, which was to be sweeping and emotional, didn’t feel that way until the very last minutes of the movie. It was difficult to grasp the characters because they weren’t crossing the emotional boundaries they were supposed to. 

Beyond the lack of connection, I didn’t think the editing was good. The Clark family story line was the one that suffered the editing mishap because the adaptation wanted the story to naturally stream in with the rest of the movie, but it did in a really unsatisfactory way. 

I walk away from this with mixed feelings. It’s not a terrible adaptation; it’s a kind of movie that one can watch again, but it doesn’t leave you with the kind of emotions you’d expect from it.


Cast: Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Janet McTeer
Director: Thea Sharrock
Year: 2016

4 comments:

  1. I'm not surprised they removed the one thing about that story (what happened to Louisa int he gardens) that set it apart from other rom com novels. I think that was a huge mistake.

    This was just okay, I agree with pretty much everything you said.

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  2. Interesting review! Sam, Emilia, and the costumes were my favorite parts. But Thea's direction wasn't the best. I really wished they hadn't gone over-the-top with marketing it as a Nicholas Sparks-esque movie, and had kept some of the more deeper elements to the characters.

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  3. I'm intrigued to know what was left out. IIt's not my sort of film or book actually but when these hyped up stories come along, I just can't help but be nosey.

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  4. I don't know what to say about this movie, but we're apparently on the same side. Emilia and Sam acts beautifully, but there's no 'real' connection between them. Also I disliked how they define the word 'quirky' to describe Louisa.

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