In theatres Friday from director Thea Sharrock, writer Jojo Moyels and Warner Bros. Pictures comes a story of a boy and a girl that put ME BEFORE YOU.
Lou (Emilia Clarke) is a quirky young woman trying to be her own person while also living at home with her rather interesting family. When she is let go from her job, the family panics as dad Bernard (Brendan Coyle) is out of work and mom Josie (Samantha Spiro) is a natural born worrier.
Trying to get it together, Lou starts job hunting and is sent to the Traynor house to be a personal aid. Met by Camilla Traynor (Janet McTeer), Lou is nervous about making a good impression even though she’s not really sure what the job entails. Met by Stephen Traynor (Charles Dance) who gives his look of approval, the young woman learns that she would be helping their son Will (Sam Claflin).
A motorcycle accident has left Will in a wheel chair and the Traynor’s want someone to spent time with their son. Anxious to have the job Lou doesn’t hesitate to accept, that is until she meets the very cut off Will who wants nothing to do with her. Making matters worse is ex-girlfriend Alicia (Vanessa Kirby) visits and he learns of her impending marriage – to his best friend.
Knowing she has her work cut out, Lou begins researching all the ways to help snap the young man out of his funk which doesn’t sit well with boyfriend Patrick (Matthew Lewis). Persistent, Lou begins to see Will come out of his angry shell and into the world. Even care trainer Nathan (Stephen Peacocke) notices a difference and is thrilled.
But there is a secret that Lou learns about Will that sets her on a path to change everything. Sometimes love means taking risks even if the outcome doesn’t change a thing.
Clarke as Lou is absolutely stunning, quirky, giggly, different and yet bold. Taking the job initially to help with the family finances, Lou finds the challenge she needed to remind herself what she’s truly about. Clarke is totally endearing with an expressive face that doesn’t leave any room for guessing how she’s feeling or thinking. It’s quite a change from speaking Dothraki and running through a desert!
Claflin as Will is stubborn, stern, angry and a little self-absorbed. Well, that doesn’t last long once he meets Lou! As much as he tries to fight off his curiosity about her, it is easy to see why he can’t. Claflin is sharp, equally as charming once his character is disarmed and has a smile that will remain memorable. After playing such intense roles, it is nice to see a softer side as Claflin as he takes over the hearts of millions.
Dance as Stephen can do no wrong – EVER. McTeer has been a favorite of mine for a very long time and I did love her in the film. Spiro as Josie is the Mom who keeps it together when all others are falling apart.
Coyle as Bernard has gone full circle working right back at another castle and I’m sorry but I couldn’t stop laughing at that. Downton Abbey fans will know what I’m talking about. It is good to see him though!
A nice surprise is Lewis as Patrick who shows his comedic side ripping away most of the memory of a younger man in a robe carrying a wand. Well done sir!
Other cast include: Muzz Khan as Syed, Ben Lloyd-Hughes as Rupert, Pablo Raybould as Frank, Gabrielle Downey as Daphne, Jenna Coleman as Katrina, Alan Breck as Grandad and Richard Goulding as Freddie.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give ME BEFORE YOU four tubs of popcorn out of five. Of course I’ve seen this premise before, yes it reminds me of a few other films, no problem with the Mother of Dragons hanging onto Finnick Odair, I’m good with Tywin Lannister hanging out with the Downton Abbey help and yes I’m even fine with a White Queen watching it all go down with a Wizard in the wings (look it all up-I can pause for laughter).
The winning part of this film is Clarke and Claflin – together – making me laugh, ‘awwww’ing, root for them, giggle at their conversations, and even become sad more than a few times. THAT’S what makes this an awesome date night film giving both guys and gals a chance to feel all the aforementioned stuff!
The music is enough to send me over the edge because it is placed so well and doesn’t force emotion but instead gently tapped me on the shoulder with a ‘there, there, it will be okay’.
I thought it was cool that there wasn’t cgi, violence, or an over-abundance of unnecessary flesh but instead a story that has castles, accents, love, family and a box of tissue courtesy of Warner Bros. This film brought out reactions from the audience and every conceivable reaction at that. It was definitely a lovely time at the movies so surround yourself with good friends, a bucket of popcorn and tissue for a truly enjoyable film that will grab your heart – whether you like it or not!
In the end – live boldly, live well and just live!