BY: BECCA ARKWRIGHT
BETHANY W.Va- Me Before You is a 2016 movie adaptation of the bestselling book of the same name written in 2012 by Jojo Moyes.
Louisa “Lou” Clark lives in a quaint town in the English countryside. Living her life without a real sense of direction, the quirky twenty-six year old works in a local tea shop where she helps to support her very tight-knit family. When she finds herself suddenly without a job and living with the anxiety of not being able to help her family, Lou goes to a temp agency in the hopes of finding work. After quite a few attempts, she finally finds one that she thinks she might be good at.
That’s when Will Traynor wheels into her life as the wealthy young banker, who is now wheelchair bound after a motorcycle accident two years prior. Now, Lou finds herself in a new position as his caregiver. No longer the outgoing, adventurous soul that he once was, the very cynical Will has settled on a glass is half empty life. That’s where Lou comes in and her undeniable lover-of-life attitude. With Will giving up on life, Lou takes in upon herself to win Will’s friendship and trust by helping him see there is still so much to live for. Setting off on adventures together, both Will and Lou get more than they both bargained for, and find their lives -and hearts- changed forever.
When I watched this for the first time I knew nothing about the story and did not even realize it was a book until weeks later, so I had no idea what to expect. I thought it was just going to be another one of those romantic comedies where the wealthy guy unexpectedly falls for the local unconventional girl, but I have never been more emotionally scarred by a set of fictional characters than I have been by these two. As I try to write this I do not even know if I can do this movie justice. The night I chose to watch this I did so alone, (which I still can’t decide if that was a good idea or not, mostly because I ended up in one of those ugly crying meltdown moments, which, let’s be honest, no one wants to see) and I was so shocked and moved by this movie you would think I lived it. I do not exaggerate when I say I cried myself to sleep that night because I could not stop wailing.
It’s not every day where you find yourself so immersed in a storyline you do not even realize that you’re crying over a fake couple until it’s been an hour and you’re still shaking. It’s so unexpected because you always think the couple will be together in the end; that you get to watch their struggles unfold and then love swoops in and corrects everything but that is NOT what you get out of this movie. To say it’s not a traditional “happy” ending is clear but whether it’s a happy ending at all is for you to decide.
Personally, I’m a big believer in love conquers all, so I was completely blown away when Will chose differently. I was positive that he would want to stay with Lou against all the odds and try to live this new found life of passion, but he was unable to see past his old self and bare the pain anymore. I know he was in pain and that it was hard to live day to day, but I thought that as long as Lou was by his side, he would do it for her. In the end, though, he did let himself feel everything – the pain, the love, the joys of life, and he tried to give that all back to Lou and stay true to himself, even if that truth was death.
This movie showcased the reality that people (like myself) would rather ignore or avoid altogether. Will was able to find his peace in the end and still leave enough of himself with Lou to try and make sure that she still looked at life as a big adventure with unlimited potential even if she had to do it with one less angel on Earth. He gave it his best and went knowing that she changed him for the better while making sure that she knew it was all because of the person that she was that he was able to do so.
~Oftentimes you find love where you least expect it. Sometimes it takes you where you never expected to go…