Right off the bat I’m telling everyone now that this is a scathing review of one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Me Before You is not the worst because of the way it was filmed, but because it presented the life of a pretentious and shallow man who disguised himself to be courageous with his extreme adventures. Ultimately, it showed him as a man so weak that he could not even take on a challenge that I have seen real people, young and old, take on with such courage and strength. Yet, it is falsely advertised as a romantic movie.
I don’t mind dark movies — they show a side of life that is real. But a dark movie disguised as a romantic comedy is duplicitous. We have all seen the trailer, but we never saw that it was ultimately about giving up on life. I even took my teenage kids to see this. It was a stupid spur of the moment decision after we watched Finding Dory . . . ha ha ha. Talk about watching 2 movies in a day that are extreme opposites. I was so appalled when the ending actually supported suicide. Omg, this is not a PG movie.
As a background, it is a story about the relationship between a quadriplegic named Will Traynor (Sam Claflin) and his caregiver, Lou Clark (Emilia Clarke). Prior to his accident, Will is a filthy rich banker who was an extreme adventurer with a hot girlfriend. Like anyone who experienced such tragedy in their life, he is suicidal and bitter. But Lou is a happy and compassionate person who loved life even without cashmere or never having had the chance to eat pesto.
I am not even sure if the writers intended it to present how shallow the lead character was, but I saw it in so many dialogues. Or were the writers so delusional to think that they were creating a hero who stood up for his choice no matter the consequences? One scene showed him explaining to Clark that his most favorite spot is a cafe in Paris where he drank good coffee with a hot croissant while girls gave him admiring looks. Now that he has become a quadriplegic, he couldn’t even charge his electric wheelchair in that cafe. What??
It even showed videos of him in his extreme adventures. I also remember Lou’s father telling him he could still continue working since it is apparent he is still as sharp as he used to be. Yet, Will chose to end his life with the help of Dignitas, a non-profit organization based in Switzerland that helps people who want to commit suicide. At the end of the movie, he gives Clark some money in his will and leaves her a letter advising her to live well. WTH? I don’t think a man who decides to end his life, regardless if it is through Dignitas, has the right to advise anyone to live well. Dignitas or not, he still committed suicide based on a sane decision. He just couldn’t live anymore if he was not a hot guy.
I blame myself for taking the movie trailer at face value and not reading up on the plot. I also have never heard of the book because I’m not a fan of romantic novels. Still, I believe it should not be categorized as romance. There is nothing romantic about a shallow man committing suicide. This is an insult to every brave soul in the world with disabilities but still manage to wake up with a smile. It is an absolute insult to Stephen Hawking, Christy Brown, Helen Keller, Beethoven, Sudha Chandran, Tanni Grey – Thompson, and so many more courageous human beings who show us the strength and beauty of the human spirit.
Anyway, this serves as a warning to those who do not know it is about a weak and shallow man who commits suicide in the end despite the love of so many people around him. This is the least romantic movie I have ever seen. If you believe in not giving up despite adversity, this is not a movie for you. But if you believe that it is ok to celebrate weakness and the right to die, you will definitely enjoy this.