Saturday 3 December 2016

Me Before You movie review: 'Poorly directed and surprisingly misguided'

Chjris Wasser

Published 03/06/2016 | 12:28

Me Before You stars Emilia Clarke and Sam Clafin.
Me Before You stars Emilia Clarke and Sam Clafin.

Sam Claflin is Will Traynor, a handsome, high-flying corporate something or other who has it all. Gorgeous girlfriend, swanky apartment, plenty of cash in the bank and, oh yeah, his parents own a castle. He also loves water sports, snowboarding, jumping off cliffs, etc. One morning, Will walks out of his gaff and is run over by a bloke on a motorbike. The accident leaves Will paralysed below the waist.

2*

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Two years later, a small-town girl named Louisa (Emilia Clarke) loses her job in the local café and somehow lands a position as Will’s carer, despite the fact that a) she has no experience whatsoever, and b) well, there is no b — inexperienced 20-somethings do not get jobs as carers for the disabled.

Still, kooky Louisa only lives across the road from the Traynor family’s mansion, and besides, Will’s mum, Camilla (Janet McTeer), reckons she’ll be good for her son. Naturally, despite a few personality clashes, Louisa and Will fall in love (we might as well just get to the point).

Based on the 2012 novel by Jojo Moyes, Me Before You is exactly the kind of shallow and sugary-sweet affair that we had feared. Claflin and Clarke try their best, but their efforts are wasted on a flimsy and emotionally manipulative screenplay (Moyes adapted her own novel — a mistake maybe?). There are plenty of ‘inspirational’ speeches and cloying montages, but no real depth or drama.

It’s also a tad offensive in its handling of the subject of euthanasia and, um, let’s be honest, some of the dialogue is unintentionally hilarious.

Poorly directed, and surprisingly misguided, Me Before You also features lots and lots of soppy, acoustic-pop tunes (because that’ll get the tear ducts going), including two Ed Sheeran numbers. Yep, two songs by the same artist. Surely, that’s against the rules, no?

Herald

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