I have been absolutely obsessed with the notion of Me Before You since the trailer premiered in February. Even though I, a cinephile who is studying criticism, should have immediately waved it off as a silly chick flick, I found myself absolutely giddy. May couldn’t come soon enough!
Well. It’s June. New Zealand got Me Before You a month later than the States, much to my chagrin. In the meantime, I picked up the book, written by Jojo Moyes. This was a dangerous thing to do, because in my experience, if I read a book and love it, I’ll despise the movie (cough cough-
Gone Girl–cough). But my need to know what I was about to get into with the film adaptation ultimately won out, I completed it, and now tonight, I have finally been able to see the film for the first time.
Me Before You has followed me throughout my journey of living and traveling in New Zealand over the past six months. In this spoiler-free list, I would now like to tell you my impressions of both the book and the movie and how they together have impacted me.
1. If you need to really sell a trailer, put Ed Sheeran songs in it. Sold.
2. Seek out tiny bookshops. It’s where I bought Me Before You, and finding it in the crowded stacks felt like finding buried treasure! It makes the experience worth it!
3. For the record, parks make THE PERFECT place to read a book. (especially if you are reading by a fountain and have a cup of your favorite tea nearby!)
4. However, busy airport terminals do NOT make the perfect place to finish this particular book. …just imagine me openly weeping in public. Yup. You got it.
5. Romance film audiences are incredibly irksome. Ladies, I get it, Sam Claflin’s a sexy beast. But if we’re gonna squeal like pre-pubescent girls whenever his character is shirtless, I’d just recommend you stay home and rent Pirates of the Caribbean; On Stranger Tides. He’s shirtless for half the film in that one!
6. The men in my theater were the real MVPs. There were approximately 80 women, and 3 men…and they looked very uncomfortable. Way to take one for your ladies, gentlemen!
7. When in doubt, cast Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin in your movie. This was some of the finest work I have seen either of them do. And what they both have exhibited in their previous work (for me, Game of Thrones, Pirates, and The Hunger Games [sidebar: #JusticeForFinnick]) was the main reason I was excited for this film in the first place, so that’s saying a lot. They absolutely nailed their performances and had incredible chemistry, bringing so much more spirit and life than I ever imagined their book equivalents having.
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DOUBLE TROUBLE DOUBLE BUMBLE BABY! 🐝🌟👏 @mebeforeyouofficial @mrsamclaflin @jojomoyesofficial #hereslookingatmebeforeyoubeforemenexttoou!!!! #liveboldly #youareascoredsonmycover #thatsanewonetocrossoffthebucketlist;) #nowquitreadingovermyshoulderandgogetyourveryownclaffers #thisgreenscreencouldhaveusreadingourbooksonmars…
8. Adapting the novel into a screenplay was no easy task, but it was done very well. Many plot points were excluded (including one major element of Louisa’s past), but none of them were missed. Nothing that was changed made the story feel less authentic.
9. See the film preferably with a group of people. Once the credits begin to roll, the lights will come up, everyone will be ugly crying, and then you’ll all erupt in laughter at how silly you look. It happened for me, and the energy in the room was tangible. We were all invested in this story together, and the emotions that followed were cathartic and real. It felt good.
10. Like Will Traynor, live boldly. We only have one life to live. As Will says in the film, “It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.” Anything is attainable, so do and see as much as you can with the time you have.
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27/50 happy hunting I am going to leave this book – my very own copy of #MeBeforeYou, signed and used by me, where I first read this beautifully touching story, the beginning of this journey – somewhere in central London over the weekend, for someone to pick up and read, to keep or to pass on (let's just hope not throw away). So happy hunting. If you find it, please enjoy it. Read it. Share it with us (me and @mebeforeyouofficial), we'd love to hear your story. #thebookbeforeyou Also, as a side note, I feel I need to just express my utmost adoration for the wonderful @jojomoyesofficial. Again, without whom none of this could have happened. Thank you. And congratulations! Me Before You has officially been number one on the NY times bestseller list for 11 whole weeks. And Jojo you deserve it. We love you. #50daycountdown #liveboldly #willtraynor
11. Like Louisa Clark, stay true to who you are. Lou is quirky, klutzy, and has a unique taste in fashion, yet she never once struggles with accepting who she truly is and never compromises it.
12. We have control over our fates. Tragedies happen. Things, people, even bits of who we are can be lost forever. We are the ones to choose what our next chapter is. We can choose to be happy, or not. We choose to live…or not. The choice, whatever that may mean in any circumstance, is always ours and ours alone.
13. Love freely and with all your heart. Especially in today’s world, where so much hate and fear exists, the fear to love openly should never be prevalent.
14. Me Before You is more than a chick flick. It’s hilarious, and tragic, and inspiring, and hopeful, and so much more. At least for me, it’s worth every second!
…oh. And one more thing: WEAR WATERPROOF MASCARA. You’re welcome in advance!
Gif from giphy, stock photo from StockSnap.io