4 June 2016 | ThomasDrufke
I wouldn't consider myself the target audience for these romantic dramas. In fact, I'm usually turned off by the overabundance of forced clichés and unnecessary plot devices. While Me Before You definitely falls victim to some of those unfortunate young adult tropes, there's far more charm than harm here.
The film stars Emilia Clarke (Lou) and Sam Claflin (Will) from Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games respectively. I've enjoyed both of their works in the past and they both make the most of the script that was given to them. Their budding charisma on screen is by far the highlight of the film. It's nice to see Clarke take on a lighter and more exuberant role than she has played in the past as it mirrors her off-screen personality as well.
Clarke's likability as Lou is put a test as she has to deal with the stern and far less cheerful, Will, who became paralyzed after a motorcycle accident. If you didn't guess it already, yes they do grow to live with each other's quirks and inconveniences and maybe even share some affection for each other. It's pretty much the basis for all of these romantic novels adapted for film, but if you're film has enough likable qualities to it, the overused plot points and clichés can be forgiven.
The main qualm for these characters are Will's questionable wishes about his future living as a quadriplegic and Lou's inability to fulfill her potential and aspirations due to her commitment as the breadwinner for her family. The way Lou effortlessly deals with these issues is what makes her so likable. It's also why you root for her and Will to become romantically involved as the film gives us compelling enough reasons to desire it. With that said, I was pleasantly surprised with how the romance is depicted. Everything is earned and not forced.
I think my only real complaints with the film involve its tendency to veer into clichéd territory. I'm not a fan of when romantic films play popular songs that tell you exactly how to feel as an audience member. Or when a certain character is written specifically to give us someone to dislike and is used a plot device more than anything else. On more than one occasion, Me Before You does that. But it's when the film attempts to take an original and realistic spin on the romance that the film really shines. It's because of the ladder that I think Me Before You is definitely worth a look.
+Clarke's undeniable likability
+Charm and chemistry with the Lou and Will dynamic
+Romance is earned not forced
-Popular songs tend to ruin the big moments
-A few clichéd characters and plot devices