SPOILER FREE REVIEW
Synopsis (Taken from RottenTomatoes):
Adapted from the bestselling novel by Jo Jo Moyes, Me Before You tells the story of the unexpected relationship that blossoms between a contented small town Englishwoman and the wealthy, paralyzed Londoner who hires her as his caretaker. Theater director Thea Sharrock makes her feature directorial debut with this MGM/New Line Cinema co-production.
Starring: Emilia Clark and Sam Clafin
Rating: 7.8/10 Stars (IMDB), 4/5 Stars (RottenTomatoes)
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
As I write this review, I am sitting at my laptop and I’m plugged into the soundtrack of this amazing book-to-movie adaptation. (And my foot is asleep, but that’s besides the point.) If you have yet to read this book or see this movie – first off, you need to; secondly, I highly recommend having tissues on hand.
I think this movie did so well – adaptation wise – because the author of the novel wrote the screenplay. It is rare for an author to have control that like that, but I am pleased that Jojo Moyes had that ability! Also, props to her for writing the screenplay, because those are not easy to write (I know from my own [failed] experience). In addition, this allowed her to shape the story in her own way and I definitely took note of the scenes that she changed or removed entirely, but those removed details did not subtract much from the movie at all.
I’m just going to quickly mention why I didn’t give this movie a full 5/5 stars. My one and only issue with it has to do with the pacing. In the beginning half or so, it was pretty rapid fire scenes. For instance, there were moments when I scene would only be characters looking at each other or maybe a line was said. By the time we reached the middle and end of the movie, events and scenes were much more drawn out. If the pacing was more even, I know I would have loved every second of it.
Also, I did feel that you had to have read the book before watching the movie in order to fully understand the character dynamics and events within the movie. You’re thrown into the story rather quickly and without much explanation. While it gave the movie a rather indie feel, it was also confusing for those who weren’t familiar with the story.
The cast did a wonderful job with this project. They made it very easy to get invested with the emotions of a scene or the decision that a character had been made. And they handled the controversial themes of this book and movie wonderfully. I know those themes have gotten some negative limelight and reviews (take a peek over at RottenTomatoes and you’ll get a feel for what I’m talking about), but I feel that they came off fairly well for the time frame they had in this movie, which is a little under two hours.
However, what truly sealed the deal for me was the soundtrack. I don’t believe many of you know this, but I am a huge music lover. If I’m not watching a show or a movie, you bet there is music filling up the silence around me. Because of that, I am constantly searching the things I watch for music that moves me in some way (it’s a great tool for when I’m writing!). The music in this movie was simply beautiful. It perfectly highlighted the emotions in each scene and brought the movie to a touching close. It was a nice mix of acoustic and indie music; also, the movie used many major artists for the soundtrack, such as Imagine Dragons, X Ambassadors, and Ed Sheeran.
Overall, I truly did love this movie. It captured all of the important moments from the book, allowed us to fall in love with the characters all over again, and brought us all to tears. I can’t wait for the DVD to be released, so I can experience it all over again!