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Review: Me Before You – “A complete joy to watch”

me before you

Me Before You follows the lives of Lou and Will and the unlikely relationship that blossoms from their meeting. Lou becomes Will’s carer, a couple of years after an accident leaves him wheelchair-bound with very little mobility below the neck. She is living a perfectly lovely, perfectly ordinary life until he challenges her to push for more, whilst he is too consumed by his own unhappiness to see anything good in his life until she makes him see it in every little thing.

But this is not your typical love story. Firstly, it’s not just about Will and Lou; they are just the centre of this particular twister. Both Will and Lou’s families are often close at hand, to offer a sarcastic quip, moral support, a hug or a good ol’ cup of tea. Because Me Before You is not just about romantic love. Parent to child, sister to sister, carer to patient, friend to friend, this is a story about love in all its heartbreaking glory. The film will bring a warm, happy smile to your face as often as it will send tears to your eyes yet there is never a moment when it feels forced or contrived. There is no invisible presence standing there, prodding you, saying ‘Cry, dammit, cry!’. This particular emotional rollercoaster just flows, up and down, from start to finish, allowing you to immerse yourself in a story that is delightful and endearing as much as it is gut-wrenching and moving.

This being a British film, the casting choices bring together as many fandoms as will probably fit within one story without health and safety being dragged in. We’ve got Game of Thrones covered (twice!) along with Hunger Games, Doctor Who and Harry Potter. All bases have been covered and the assembled cast more than live up to their ammassed fan base.

Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin are a perfect pairing as Lou and Will, their chemistry, humour and genuine affection for each other radiating off the screen. The supporting cast, including Stephen Peacocke as Nathan and Janet McTeer and Charles Dance as Will’s parents, are equally captivating. Each character, even the smaller, lesser-seen ones, is carefully thought out and then beautifully realised by the actor in question. This, of course, is also down to another perfect pairing from behind the camera – that of writer Jojo Moyes and director Thea Sharrock. Their ideas for how this story should be told have come together apparently seamlessly and the result is a well-balanced tale full of the same heart that made book-lovers across the globe fall in love with Lou and Will in the first place.

People have called Me Before You a romance, a comedy, a weepy . . . and they’re not wrong. It is all of these things and so much more besides. At the heart of it all, Me Before You is about Will and Lou’s personalities and their circumstances, what happens when their lives collide, and the fallout felt by everyone who knows and loves them. It’s absolutely beautiful story-telling and, despite the tears, a complete joy to watch.


Me Before You is out on 3rd June 2016.


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