Me Before You Movie Review
In 2011, the French drama-comedy The Intouchables—one of the best films of the decade—demonstrated what a sincere friendship between a quadriplegic and his attendant could look like. Now, we have Me Before You, which shows what would happen if you took that dynamic, added some romance, and replaced the attendant with a poorly dressed young woman of questionable mental capacity.
Thank you, Thea Sharrock, for making such a classic (and Jojo Moyes for adapting your own novel)!
Me Before You is exactly what you’d expect: a romantic drama that relies on concept over sincerity, forced chemistry and generally bland characters to evoke some level of emotion.
Is indifference an emotion?
Me Before You stars Emilia Clarke, who is nearly as bad here as she was in Terminator: Genisys. While she’s great in Game of Thrones, her overly emotive and cheerful approach to her character here seems more suited for a high school play than a major theatrical release. Of course, the filmmakers do little to help her; the screenplay forces her to act shocked that major spinal cord injuries cannot be healed (even Forrest Gump knows that) and her outfits, while intended to be eccentric, are so embarrassingly bad it’s hard to take her character seriously.
After a while, you forget how annoying Clarke’s character is and begin to believe there is a bit of a spark between her and co-star Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire). The spark never ignites. Not fully. The two build a decent on-screen rapport, but Sharrock fails to bring their passion to life—the romance in this romantic drama is flat.
Plagued by an annoying lead, bland romance and limited chemistry between its two stars, Me Before You is at best a routine and forgettable chick flick. And that’s being friendly.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.