Monday, June 13, 2016

Me Before You

After much waiting and eager anticipation, last weekend Me-day finally arrived; I packed my Kleenex and dark sunglasses to soak up my tears and hide my puffy eyes, respectively, then hit my local theater with bucket of popcorn, soda and chocolate bar in hand. Chocolate is a must in this type of situation, along with antioxidants, it has magical tear-fighting properties. It works wonders at sad movies, after crappy work days, and though I can't personally attest to it, I do believe its restorative powers work after arguments with boyfriends, husbands and/or bratty kids.

For those of you unfamiliar with the movie or book of the same name, Me Before You centers around young and quirky Louisa "Lou" Clark (Emilia Clarke) who moves from one job to the next to help her family make ends meet. Her cheerful attitude is put to the test when she becomes a caregiver for Will Traynor (Sam Claflin), a wealthy young banker left paralyzed from an accident two years earlier. Will's cynical outlook starts to change when Louisa shows him that life is worth living. As their bond deepens, their lives and hearts change in ways neither one could have imagined.

I really loved the movie, though I’m gonna go all book snob on you and say – say it with me now – the book is better. Nonetheless, it is a movie well worth the ticket price and the two hours of your life. It goes without saying that it was romantic, sweet, charming, funny and at times heartbreaking. Between the beautiful actors, great acting, emotional dialogue, and wonderful soundtrack, your heartstrings are expertly plucked – played like a harp – from start to finish.

The screenplay was adapted by the book’s author herself, Jojo Moyes, so as you can imagine the film was very true to its source material. The casting was spot on; Emilia Clarke perfectly captured Lou’s joie de vivre, as well as the innocent wonder of someone exposed to new experiences and shown the possibility of a future rich with limitless potential. Claflin was brilliant, especially given that his performance is restrained to facial expressions given Will’s physical limitations as a paraplegic. Whether stealing Lou’s heart (and ours in the process) with his toothy boyish smile or conveying the depths of Will’s sorrow and disillusionment with a solemn look of heartache, Claflin did both with apparent ease. While each actor firmly stood on their own two feet, it was the chemistry between the two where the magic happened; utterly enchanting.

Me Before You is an unabashed chick-flick; a charming romance, light on laughter and heavy on both sap (the more the better) and tears. I stayed away from any spoilers in this post, but I will offer a word of warning, bring Kleenex!