GAME OF THRONES v THE HUNGER GAMES
Well, not really. The franchises’ stars happen to cross paths, but don’t go looking for darkened excitement.
Simple, subtle and nothing we really haven’t seen before in terms of “boy-meets-girl” or “girl-meets-boy” or whatever… ME BEFORE YOU marks theater director’s Thea Sharrock’s feature film directorial debut based on the critically acclaimed bestselling novel by Jojo Moyes.
When Louisa (Emilia Clarke) loses her waitressing job, she must go around scraping for income her family depends on. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and points her in a direction to take a job as a caregiver to Will (Sam Claflin) – a wealthy, paralyzed former banker who bitterly keeps everyone at arm’s length, while reflecting on his past. However, inevitability takes place as Louisa refuses to walk on egg-shells, leading to… Oh, whatever. You know what happens.
Geared for a specific audience (like the ones behind me who kept balling), those outside of romance’s realm will nitpick at this, fanatically pointing out its subliminal subject-matter of euthanasia. A manipulative piece of self-righteous condemnation if you will. And that’s just being diplomatic. But if you flip-the-script, the overall tone and narrative is indeed about finding love where you least expect it. Even if it means dragging yourself to places you never thought you’d go. While dialog shoots for feel-good moments (which arcs pretty well), the star of this film happens to be Clarke. Whose cute, bubbly and innocent characteristics within Louisa helps carry the film in a vibrant way, making this one note flick easy to endure.
Quick-witted and charming, ME BEFORE YOU stands valiantly among monsters that still dominate the box office. Clearly not aiming for that kind of clout, it will have its audience and it will leave a mark for those who appreciate this mishmash of gushy, lovey-dovey, kissy-kissy type of stuff. I will say this, if Will were broke and lived in the projects, this story wouldn’t even be. But it isn’t. So, fellas, if you’re aiming at some quality time ending with some sweet spooning this weekend, take your woman to this. She’ll love it! (You can thank me later!)
Grade: C+ / Genre: Drama / Rated: PG-13 / Run Time: 1:50
Starring: Emilia Clarke and Sam Caflin
Directed by: Thea Sharrock