Presented by / 6/02/2016 / No comments / , ,

REVIEW OF ME BEFORE YOU STARRING EMILIA CLARKE

Year: 2016
A hybrid of EDUCATING RITA, in which a short, spunky, awkward working class girl perks up the life of a stuffy, brainy and contented University Professor; PRETTY WOMAN where "the hooker next door" shows a corporate raider a thing or two about relaxation; and LOVE STORY involving two young people falling in love and one isn't so lucky. And yet, ME BEFORE YOU is, for the most part, a one person show...

That being Emilia Clarke as Lou, who dresses to the beat of her own crazy, offbeat fashion and, living in a working class home, really needs a job and finds a good one at a family's castle estate where an extremely rich couple's son is a paraplegic. Much of the first half plays out like many a film of this ilk: it takes the special kind of personality to make a grouchy guy finally melt to the extreme cuteness of the girl, and in this case she goes a bit overboard with facial expressions that scream out "Adore Me" with every curve of her radiant face, lovely thick lips and distinguished eyebrows. Bottom line, she's cute as a button... A lot of buttons, actually, with a few extras to boot.

But for the sake of popularity, she doesn't hold a candle to our handsome leading man, once a famous playboy type who, like Richard Gere in that PRETTY chick flick, bought and sold companies before the accident. His grim perspective isn't only because of his horrific condition, but since he had lived such a great life previously, like no one on earth except maybe George Clooney or Hugh Hefner, the bed and wheelchair existence just doesn't cut it... No matter how much his new girl-friend tries, it seems like he wants to take part in... well:

Now that's where ME BEFORE YOU hits a giant wall, and by the end, unlike the tragic tear-jerking of LOVE STORY or DYING YOUNG or any Big Screen Disease Soap you choose, the audience is left with more of a cerebral discussion of "Was that the right thing for him to do?" rather than, "Wow, that was so lovely and moving!" which 'date movies' usually provoke. When the second act rounds to third, as their relationship seems to grow stronger, we merge into the morality issue climax where Sam Claflin's Will Traynor becomes a character very hard to feel sorry for, especially since so many are in his condition who want to live and DON'T have castles and Sunny Bunny nurses (meanwhile, he puts his parents through a slow, torturous ringer). Making this another of many recent vehicles that use an otherwise involving and ultimately misleading story to lead to an agenda/statement that provides a reason for the story to exist at all. In the old days, this was called being "taken for a ride." And for a ride, it's not too shabby. But for a romance, it lacks the necessary magic needed to work as a whole.

RATING: ***
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