'Me Before You' is a must-see if you have a heart

Posted June 8, 2016

SOBBINGTON — It’s not every day that you go to the movies and free Kleenex tissues are conveniently provided on each seat, but that was the case at the press screening for “Me Before You.” It’s a good thing, too, because if there’s one movie sure to jerk a tear or elicit an ugly cryfest it’s this one.

With that being said, here is what you need to know before you take your sweetheart or gal pals to the theater this weekend.

Pretty tough topics

“Me Before You” is based on the novel of the same title by Jojo Moyes about a young Englishwoman caring for a quadriplegic man over the course of six months. That in and of itself is difficult to digest as you watch Louisa learn all that caring for Will Traynor entails, but it gets even trickier.

A few weeks into her contract with the Traynor family, Louisa learns that Will plans to end his life by physician-assisted suicide but has promised his parents six months before doing so. There are many opinions and viewpoints expressed in the film on this weighted subject, all completely justified and handled in a very delicate and sensitive matter. If you do plan on seeing this movie, and you should, it is worth noting this important theme is present the whole time.

Surprise supporting cast

The poster and the trailer for “Me Before You” focus almost singularly on the two main characters of Lou Clark and Will Traynor, played by Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin, respectively. These two actors do a phenomenal job and, of course, look absolutely gorgeous doing it.

But even more impressive is the array of talented actors surrounding Clarke and Claflin. Stephen Peacocke does a great job as Will’s home nurse, and Janet McTeer and Charles Dance handle their son’s situation with as much courage as grace as possible in such an impossible situation.

Then there’s Matthew Lewis, who plays Lou’s fit boyfriend, Patrick. While he will forever be Neville Longbottom to me, Lewis gives a strong performance and managed to make me love his character, even though he is meant to be a complete jerk.

Movie vs. book

I have to admit that I finished the book less than 20 minutes before the movie started and was speed-reading to get through. Moyes also wrote the screenplay, which is always a good sign. The adaptation was true to the story and characters as much as any Nicholas Sparks romance is.

There are some extraneous details and subcharacter development moments that are missing, but overall the movie does a beautiful job of telling Moyes’ romantic tale. If anything, I thought the movie filtered out the fluff in the novel and focused on the emotional experience of Lou and Will, which is what I most enjoyed about the novel anyway.

What else is in it?

For such a hard-hitting thematic material, I was surprised at how clean “Me Before You” is. The movie is rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some suggestive material, which is a broad description. The suggestive material is very mild and only hints at sexuality. There is absolutely no nudity and only a few British curses. The only objectionable content is, again, the complex topic of physician-assisted suicide that might be difficult for younger audiences to deal with.

Really, though, “Me Before You” is a lovely romance that is perfect for any date or girls night out. There are few movies that suit the occasion better.

Sarah Bringhurst is a graduate of Utah Valley University and the content manager of She loves movies, speculative fiction and her beautiful baby girl. Email:


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