Jonathan A., here…
Emilia Clarke stars in this delightful adaptation of Jojo Moyes’ hit romance novel “Me Before You.” Although this seems to have been her first time directing a feature film, Thea Sharrock proved she was more than up to the task, as this film is fluid, sincere and is simply an absolute pleasure to watch.
The story is simple, but effective; our protagonist Louisa (Emilia Clarke) is a quirky girl, living a boring life in a small, English town, but that boring life is quickly turned on its heels when she accepts a job as a caregiver for a handsome, outrageously wealthy and deeply depressed quadriplegic.
I found myself completely engaged by the characters, as the chemistry between Emilia Clarke and male lead Sam Claflin is magnificent and the writing is believable, rather than overly dramatic and over-the-top, as is the case in so many romance films.
However, Emilia Clarke’s portrayal of Louisa is easily the single greatest aspect of this film. Without ever being reminded of her most famous role as a certain mighty, dragon riding Khaleesi, I was amazed by how natural this tender role seemed to be for Clarke, and I completely adored the lovable and goofy character she created.
This movie looks damn good! Presented in 1080p high def, this blu ray makes good use of the technology, by delivering a crisp, clear and vivid picture. The blacks are deep and inky and the colors are all brilliant, whether you’re marveling at the lush greens of the English countryside, or the bright, bold colors of Louisa’s oddball (and awesome) wardrobe.
The audio is delivered in Dolby digital 5.1, however the surround aspect is largely wasted in this film, as there are not many good opportunities to make good use of it. The dialogue, on the other hand, is all excellently mixed, natural sounding and crystal clear. The score is also brilliantly done. Poignant, and deftly executed by composer Craig Armstrong, who also scored films such as Love Actually and Moulin Rouge, the music adds a great deal of emotion throughout the film, without ever being overbearing or ill-fitting.
Me Before You: From Page To Screen – A well edited and enlightening behind the scenes look at how writer Jojo Moyes and directory Thea Sharrock collaborated to bring these characters to life on film. Interviews with cast and crew make for a quality, though brief featurette.
Outtakes – Some funny outtakes that make for a mildly entertaining and very short featurette.
Deleted Scenes – One viewing of these scenes and you’ll know precisely why they were cut from the film. Nothing of any value here.
THE ULTIMATE WORD
This is a thoroughly enjoyable romance film and Emilia Clarke shines with rare luminosity in this charming and memorable role. Both bittersweet and thoughtful, “Me Before You” is sure to not only be a great choice for date night, but also greatly please fans of romance films and more than likely, even those who claim to dislike the genre.