Wheelchair romance. So this is about a quadriplegic man (Sam Claflin). He used to have it all before a motorcycle accident (where he wasn’t actually the one driving), so naturally this lifestyle change has him a bit down on his luck. Enter his new caretaker (Emilia Clarke) who is just a ray of sunshine. Can she get him excited about life again? Now I am fully capable of getting into a romantic story, even though I am a guy. It’s a misconception with my gender that we only like violent action movies like Die Hard… but I usually like those as well. I try to watch Love Actually every Christmas Eve, and I will vehemently defend Titanic as a brilliant film. If there is a male out there capable of appreciating Me Before You, it’s me. While this is a notch or two better than your garden variety romantic comedy, it falls way short of being a classic.
It also falls short of being something that anybody will remember in 2017.
Such is the case for most of these affairs, this is based on a popular novel that I haven’t read. It’s very much in that same vain of The Fault in Our Stars, and I suppose there will always be an audience for star-crossed lovers. The reason why this relationship is doomed has to do with a fact would probably be considered to be a spoiler, so let’s just say that this man is having a lot of difficulty finding purpose in his life given the major life change, and what he’s preparing to do is a bit difficult to relate to. Granted, I do realize I have never been through his plight, and I don’t even know anybody who has been through something this extreme, but that doesn’t change the fact that what he wants to do is selfish and short sighted. Apart from that one element, everything else is fairly predictable, and while it is never bad, it never surprises.
The softer side of the Mother of Dragons.
Now I do like the acting from both of these leads, and I was able to buy their slow and steady attraction to one another. I know it couldn’t have been easy for Claflin to act from a wheelchair, but I appreciated Clarke more than anything because she was able to play a completely different character than what she typically plays; she is so plucky and genuine that she does really help to carry this movie. When she is trying to enthuse the unenthusiastic, that is where this movie is at its best. It’s watchable, but I do deduct points for the aforementioned element as well as for a very obtrusive hipster soundtrack that kept butting in and ruining moments. This was okay.
Me Before You **1/2
– Critic for Hire