Director: Thea Sharrock
Cast: Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Janet McTeer
Release Date: August 30, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
When Louisa Clark—Lou, as she’s known—unexpectedly loses her waitressing job she must scramble to replace the income that her tight-knit family depends upon. Desperation drives her to take a job as a caregiver to Will Traynor, a man who used to be a wealthy banker with an adventurous soul, living life to the very fullest, but for whom those days are in the past. After a tragic accident, Will lost the desire to live and now keeps everyone at a distance with his caustic, overbearing attitude. But unlike his family, Lou refuses to tiptoe around him or cater to his moods. In fact, her sparkling personality and easy nature are hard for even Will to ignore, and soon enough each becomes exactly what the other needs.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
Based on the bestselling novel, ‘Me Before You’ tells the story of the goofy and adorable Lou (Clarke) who just doesn’t seem to have any luck when it comes to finding a fitting job. Unemployed once again and counted on by her family for financial assistance, she on a whim applies for and subsequently accepts a new job caring for the rude and often disrespectful Will (Claflin) who after a life filled with a plethora of thrilling and physically intense outdoor adventures is confined to a wheelchair following an unfortunate random accident. Desperate not to give up on him, Lou refuses to fall prey to his indifferent approach and soon manages to worm her way into a more caring relationship with Will. As the two continue to build their friendship something more begins to blossom, yet a terrifying secret which Will has kept to himself just may threaten to destroy it all.
Directed by Thea Sharrock from a screenplay by Jojo Moyes who also wrote the novel in which it was based upon, Sharrock does a highly capable job at the helm of ‘Me Before You’ which also marks her feature film directorial debut. The film also owes a large chunk of credit to the collection of talented individuals who comprise the cast and really make it work including Emilia Clarke (TV’s Game of Thrones), Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games franchise), Janet McTeer (TV’s Battle Creek), Vanessa Kirby (Everest), Matthew Lewis (the Harry Potter franchise), Stephen Peacocke (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot) and Charles Dance (TV’s Game of Thrones) along with a number more, nearly all of whom deliver solid performances in each of their respective roles. Nonetheless, Emilia Clarke manages to easily steal the show with her warm hearted and absolutely adorable portrayal of the eccentric Lou.
‘Me Before You’ is a sweet, often warmhearted and occasionally humorous love story about two drastically different individuals who are brought together by mere happenstance and after a rocky introduction, soon both discover they have unexpectedly strong emotions about the other. Capably guided by director Thea Sharrock in her feature film directorial debut and based upon a script by the novel’s author, the film also features a talented cast including the adorable and show stealing Emilia Clarke, along with Sam Claflin, Charles Dance and a number more who all help to bring a realism and passion to the story. Sadly the collection of capable talent can’t save the story’s predictability which results in a far less notable impact in many sequences when the outcome is often painfully clear far in advance. Even with the few minor downsides and discrepancies painfully present within the movie, fans of the novel and those who live for romantic films such as this are likely to promptly fall in love with ‘Me Before You’ and anyone who fits that bill will definitely want to give this one a whirl if you haven’t yet had the opportunity to do so.
Overall, ‘Me Before You’ is a fairly well crafted romantic tear jerker that is sure to please fans of the novel and those who appreciate romantic movies of a similar nature. Even if by no means perfect, it manages to deliver a capable, well guided and beautifully acted film with a particularly outstanding performance by the talented Emilia Clarke. The film may not be my cup of tea per say, but I would strongly recommend those who enjoy romantic dramas such as this to make sure and check this one out, it’s likely right up your alley.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Me Before You’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic as a whole and delivers a sharp, detailed and clean presentation from start to finish with no notable faults to be found within; holding up admirably even during the darker and more heavily populated sequences. Overall, this is quite the gorgeous high definition video presentation from Warner Bros. that should easily please the fans.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack provides a consistently clean, crisp and smooth soundtrack that while not overly active, still often takes advantage of all five available channels in order to contribute some general ambience including crowd chatter, nature elements and more, while always making certain that any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously remains clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a more than competent 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers in every way required of it.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Me Before You’ includes a few enjoyable extras. Included on the release are a number of ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the film (running approximately 6 minutes in length altogether), in addition to ‘Outtakes’ (running approximately 2 minutes), and a Behind the Scenes Featurette ‘Me Before You: From Page to Screen’ which discusses the process of adapting the novel for film (approximately 6 minutes).