Me Before You tells the story of a girl in a small town forms an unlikely bond with a recently-paralyzed man she’s taking care of.
Despite all the petitioning and controversy this film has received, and how some of my wheelchair bound friends disagree with the controversy this film has received, it’s an adorable film where many of Emelia Clarke’s characteristics are relatable. We finally have someone, despite how selfish she may seem at times, holds quirky and often left of centre traits that isn’t a glowing hologram of what women aren’t like or supposed to represent. All relationships don’t end in happily every after, not everyone is a Bridget Jones where they’re depressed over the fact they’re not in a relationship, which, to be honest, isn’t everything. It tells the story of a family’s struggles to stay afloat financially and sticking together while offering support to those they care about the most in the world.
The criticism that Me Before You takes because it depicts someone living a life with a severe disability as completely worthless can be seen as somewhat misguided. The life that Sam Clafin’s William is actually so worthwhile and it’s the character’s own choice, like many others who may have experienced something similar, that he cannot simply go on as it is and would prefer to end his life with assistance.
The author of the novel and screenwriter of the film, JoJo Moyes, along with the director, always knew a film like Me Before You was always going to be a film of a controversial topic but that doesn’t mean that it should be so harshly criticised for. It tries to focus on the precious happy memories William spends with Lou (Clarke) and shows that even if this decision is made, it wasn’t done so easily. It really challenges our perspectives on those suffering from severe trauma and there aren’t really a lot of writers who are able to confront the realities of such a subject matter but Moyes does it aptly.
Definitely better than any trash Nicholas Sparks will give you.