HOLLYWOOD—It has been quite some time since, I’ve see an actual romance-drama that made me tear up a bit. I mean everyone tends to go back to “The Notebook’ which has been heralded as the all-time chick-flick, but “Me Before You” might give that movie a run for its money. The film is based on the popular novel from Jojo Moyes. Come into the theater with an open-mind, because this drama is indeed going to take you on a whirlwind of a rollercoaster ride of emotions.
The movie revolves around Will Traynor (Sam Claflin), a man whose life is at its prime, but that is all changed in a freak motorcycle accident that leaves Will paralyzed. This leads to the introduction of Louisa ‘Lou’ Clark (Emilia Clarke) who finds herself unemployed and desperate to find a new job to help support her family. That leads to her seeking a position to take care of Will. While Lou, has no experience what so ever taking care of a disabled individual, Will’s mother, Camilla (Janet McTeer) decides to offer Louisa the opportunity to take care of her son hoping to change his perspective about life.
For a flick like “Me Before You,” chemistry is a MUST between the two main characters (Will and Lou), and in this case, the casting couldn’t be better with Claflin and Clarke. There is something SO CHARMING about Clarke and Claflin that you instantly connect with these characters as a spectator and you want to go on this journey of courtship and see how their love blossoms over time. Will has closed himself to the outside world; I mean can you blame him. He had it all and to see that ripped from your life in a matter of seconds is a tough pill to swallow. The animosity between the two reaches a climax when Lou decides to finally voice how she feels about her treatment from Will, which is a shift in how they perceive one another.
This movie is not just about romance, it deals with the hot-button issue of assisted suicide. Yes, this is something that has been talked about for years in the United States. Anyone who is anyone has heard of Dr. Jack Kervorkian, knows he was notorious for helping assist people who were ready to die in the state of Michigan. He helped over a 100 plus patients who were terminally ill take their lives.
Yes, “Me Before You” tackles a heavy subject matter that will likely open the minds of the spectator, in addition, it will raise that question yet again, that if a patient who is terminally ill or finds themselves in a situation where they perceive life worth not living, should they have the right to take one’s life? As the romance and love between Will and Lou grows over time, the film asks the viewer how he or she would grapple with such a situation if their life partner was determined to take their life because of their immobile state of mind.
In Will’s case he’s not terminally ill, but he feels his inability to do the things that he wants and cares to do diminishes his life potential, but Lou and his mother do their best to convince him he has so much worth living for in life, he just has to ‘see’ it. “Me Before You” has so much heart, but amidst its controversial topic, it’s the tale of two people whose lives are forever changed upon their meeting.
Lou and Will discover over time, there is so much life worth living, but sometimes it takes a person allowing them to see the ‘light’ to discover their full potential. The sad thing about this flick is the TV spots and trailers have teased a bit where the movie is headed, but for those who have been able to avoid seeing hints about the movie’s plot, things will take you by surprise. “Me Before You” might be the most heart-breaking romantic drama I’ve seen in years, but it does cause one to think if they were in Will’s situation what would you do? It’s worth thinking about.