'Me Before You' review: Manipulative and maudlin

This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Emilia Clarke, left, and Sam Claflin in a scene from "Me Before You." (Alex Bailey/Warner Bros. Entertainment via AP)   | Photo Credit: Alex Bailey

If the funnest thing you can think of while watching a film is play match the actor to the TV show, then obviously the film is not particularly engaging. So Emilia Clark plays Louisa, this chatty, happy girl with a weakness for bumblebee tights and shoes to die for. Clark as we all know is Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones. She also played Sara Connor in Terminator Genisys – the ret con version where Arnold Schwarzenegger as the T800 kept saying “old, but not obsolete.”

Brendan Coyle, who plays Lou’s dad, will be remembered as the slightly-annoying Mr. Bates in Downton Abbey. There is also Charles Dance as Steven Traynor, the father of the hero, Will, played by Sam Claflin. I always remember Dance as Guy Perron in that outstanding series Jewel in the Crown. What wonderfully tragic Harry Coomer Art Malik made! Dance was also the doctor in Alien 3 where Ellen Ripley shaves her head and does the ultimate sacrifice on that prison planet — but never mind.

Oh okay, the story. Will Traynor has everything — health, wealth, good looks till he meets with an accident is paralysed waist down. Two years later he is bitter man on a wheelchair in a castle and his worried mum hires jolly Lou to be his companion and carer for six months.

Lou has a big happy family — dad is out of work but full of home grown wisdom, mom is a great cook, sis is a single mum who wants to go back to business school, Lou’s boyfriend is a fitness freak having won some young entrepreneur award two years running and there is also a silent, wise, grandpa, wonder where the big, shaggy family dog is.

The misunderstandings, the love, the heartbreak, the tears, the wedding, concerts, races, mad dash to the airport, the night of somewhat passion, the first kiss, all check out and you are finally left with a voice from beyond, in a letter being read in a sunny bistro in Paris — there is nowhere to hide in cliché central.

Based on the eponymous book by Jojo Moyes, Me Before You could have been dismissed as a cloyingly sweet bit of nonsense had it not been for its glamorising of euthanasia.

Genre: Romance

Director: Thea Sharrock

Cast: Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Jenna Coleman, Charles Dance, Matthew Lewis, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Janet McTeer

Run time: 110 minutes

Plot: A ditzy girl becomes carer to a rich handsome quadriplegic

Bottomline: Manipulative and maudlin with a troubling message

Rating: 1 star

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 2:01:04 AM |

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