Considering I watched the movie and read the book within a 48 hour period I thought I would review them both together. For those of you living under a rock that haven’t either read, watched or at least heard of Me Before You it follows the heartbreaking yet incredibly beautiful story of Lou and Will. Lou is a quirky, chatty ball of awkwardness who finds herself desperately out of a job. Will is quadriplegic man struggling to come to terms with the limitations of his new life. His mother employs Lou as a companionship carer for six months. What follows is their equally hilarious and heartbreaking story that drags you right in and hits you in the feels. Both mediums will require tissues.
I have been holding off reading this book for months and months and months. My past is littered with movies that just did not live up to my expectations set by the book and I was determined to not make that mistake here. Little did I know that this would join the (tiny) ranks of books and movies that I love equally along with The Dressmaker and The Notebook. This in my opinion is all thanks to the fact that it was Jojo Moyes adapting her novel to the screenplay. Many of the lines from the movie were taken straight from the book. While there were numerous changes, I felt that they were all necessary to keep the focus on the main storyline. In fact I found it interesting to find out that several of the sub-plots that were removed from the movie were filmed and planned to be in there but they were just not able to make the scenes work. Me Before You was one of the best movies I have watched this year. I have not found myself so immersed in a movie to that extent in a long time. The actors were perfect for their roles. My notable mentions go out to Emilia Clarke (Lou) – seriously is there anyone more adorable?, Sam Claflin (Will), Janet McTeer (Camilla) and Matthew Lewis (Patrick) as the best comedic relief ever. They brought their characters to life with such perfection. In fact, can I go see it again?
I sat down to read the book today knowing I had the whole day ahead of me to dedicate to it and unsurprisingly finished it. I enjoyed discovering the back stories and changes that were made for the film adaptation. They give you a deeper understanding of the characters, Louisa in particularly, and added a lot more depth to the plot. It was interesting to read her thoughts and her friendship with Will grows watching her slowly come to the realisation that she was falling in love with him. The scene where she shaves Will for the first time in particular stuck with me. It was a beautiful scene in the movie, however, the way it is written makes you truly understand how intimate an act it was and how it was real turning point in their relationship. That passage is potentially one for my favourites. The only thing I didn’t like was how the book made you realise how unfair Lou’s family could be, how harmful some of their actions were to her self-esteem. Overall though, I felt the book was well written, easy to read and full of real characters. The odd change in perspectives also added a different dimension to the book, changing things up every now and then.
Both the book and movie lived up to the immense hype for me. I felt they complimented each other well and you can enjoy both or each separately. The characters were memorable and loveable. While the plot is somewhat predictable (you KNOW they will fall in love, you KNOW it won’t end well) yet you are still kept on you toes with the finer details and nuances. I would highly recommend getting on the band wagon! I give Me before You, both the book and movie, four bumble bees for Louisa.