FILM REVIEW: Me Before You is emotional - but that’s not enough

Me Before You
Me Before You
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FILM REVIEW: ME BEFORE YOU (12A)

SHOWCASE CINEMAS PETERBOROUGH, OUT NOW

CAST: EMILIA CLARKE, SAM CLAFLIN, CHARLES DANCE, JANET McTEER, JENNA COLEMAN, MATTHEW LEWIS, BRENDAN COYLE, SAMANTHA SPIRO, VANESSA KIRBY, BEN LLOYD-HUGHES & JOANNA LUMLEY

RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 50 MINS

DIRECTOR: THEA SHARROCK

An enchanting performance from Game of Thrones starlet Emilia Clarke (Terminator: Genesis) saves this middling romantic-drama that doesn’t quite have the oomph of some recent genre entries.

It doesn’t do enough with the compelling source material from Jojo Moyes’ novel – not quite offering the same emotional clout of say, A Fault in Our Stars – and is a surprising slow-burner before it eventually picks up the pace somewhat late in the day.

Clarke stars as a playing-it- safe, currently out-of- work, 26-year-old small town girl Louisa Clark, who gets an out-of-the-blue job as a carer to ‘posh’ paralysed man Will Traynor (The Hunger Games’ Sam Claflin) – which is of comfort to her down-on- their-luck family, which includes Dr Who’s Jenna Coleman as her sister.

He has been left quadriplegic (with generally only movement from the neck up) after a motorcycle accident two years earlier has now left this handsome, high-flying, extreme sports enthusiast, with severe depression and seemingly little to live for.

So enter the erratically-dressed Lou – who despite her complete lack of money still manages to come to work in different kooky-attire every 
single day – as the one person that eventually forms an unlikely bond with the 
extremely irritable and moody Will, with his well-doing, but emotionally distant, parents Camilla (Janet McTeer) and Stephen (Charles Dance), praying that he can have pockets of happiness through his irretrievable condition.

And as the enthusiastic Lou starts to put a smile on his face – much to the chagrin of neglected fitness-mad boyfriend Patrick (Harry Potter’s Neville Longbottom star Matthew Lewis) – she manages to get him away from the confines of his four walls as he starts to enjoy life again, but unfortunately not enough to force him to change a dark decision that he’s made, as Lou starts to fall in love with her patient.

But while remaining watchable throughout – with the odd sweet moment complete with Ed Sheeran’s dulcet tones in the background – this never ever offers anything ground-breaking and simply efficiently passes the time. Sadly not a lot more.

It does throw in a few potentially tear-jerking moments if you like to reach for the hankies, but without Clarke this could have been quite bland – and should have been so much more.

Rating: 3/5

Gavin Miller