Sunday, 21 August 2016

Me Before You - Jojo Moyes

‘I just… want to be a man who has been to a concert with a girl in a red dress. Just for a few minutes more.’

I feel like I'm reviewing everything 3/5 nowadays. It's all so mediocre.

Me Before You is one of those books I just had to read before the movie comes out so that I can talk about it to people, but so far no one I’ve talked to has actually seen it. Well, maybe I’ve just chosen my chick flick -hating friends wrong. Anyway, it's the newest tear-jerker, 'have tissues with you when you go' kind of a movie, and it kind of failed to do the trick for me.

The premise has Louisa Clark, a small-town girl (still living in that small town), lose her job of six years at a café and suddenly finding herself really needing a new one to support her parents and sister, let alone herself. She soon finds herself a well-paying six month job as a caretaker for one Will Traynor, a quadriplegic from a wealthy family, who was in a motorcycle accident and lost his whole previous life. Louisa hates her job at first, but she soon starts to bond with Will, because of course she does. That’s really anything I can say about it without going to spoiler territory, in case you don’t already know what happens – the spoilers are pretty difficult to avoid.

I didn’t like Louisa’s character. I’m still debating whether it was meant to happen, if I was meant to dislike her so that I could be proud when she grew as person. For me, that growth was too little too late and overshadowed by other, more likeable characters having been there the whole time. Also, it takes Will forcefully dragging her out of her comfort zone to get her to do anything. Whoopie-do, what a strong female lead. Really, I could’ve liked this more if I could’ve liked her more.

Here are just a few of the things I didn’t like about Louisa, because a list is necessary for me to get my point through:
- She has some tragic traumatising backstory subplot (that was apparently cut from the movie, smart move) that just failed to get me to sympathise with her.
- She, according to her own words, ‘hates films with subtitles’. Because her English privilege allows her to be perfectly comfortable in watching only things made in Hollywood. Yeah. Then again, this makes Will mention ‘Local bloody Hero’, which got a chuckle from me.
- She avoids going even half a step out of her comfort zone, perfectly content in doing the same things day after day. Yeah, that annoyed me a lot, thank you very much.

On the other hand, I liked her sister Katrina, rare as her appearances were. Not because she was apparently always better than Louisa in everything, but because she wanted to tackle any and all problems head-on and also did that. I also liked Will, because he at least lived his life to the fullest while he still could. I also wasn’t bothered in the slightest that he spent most of the book being incredibly mean to everyone only trying to help – he was definitely allowed to, living the pretty bad life he now has.

All in all, Me Before You was pretty predictable, but it did have a few heartfelt moments. I did like the ending as well, as it had a nice setting, almost movie-esque. I think a friend of friend talked to me about the book before I thought I’d ever read it, and somehow she made it seem much more interesting…. well. It wasn’t a waste of my time but I think you could read a better romance with this time, though maybe not a better fictional romance book about taking care of a quadriplegic. It’s a pretty niche thing. I think I’ll read After You, the sequel, at some point. I quite want to know if Louisa is actually capable of some personal growth, if she’ll actually become a likeable character somehow. Also, I already bought it for my Kindle. That review is here now, by the way!

Thoughts on the movie (Edit from 25th April 2017) 

So, since the movie has made its way to Netflix, I took the liberty to make Daniel watch it take a look at it. And it was surprisingly good! For starters, the production values were very high; Emilia Clarke was amazing for Louisa (which I wouldn't have guessed considering how Daenerys Targaryen is very much everything Louisa Clark isn't??) and Sam Claflin was very good for the charismatic male lead. The script is adapted by the author herself and the sceneries are very pretty and fitting. Also, Jenna Coleman was a really good Katrina!

On the other hand, Emilia Clarke didn't do a very good job at pretending not to have a posh accent. Likewise, she didn't seem to be poor at all, considering by the ridiculous collection of high-heeled shoes she had attached to the wall of her bedroom(?). However, these things might well be my only complaint about this movie. Also, can I just complain how the scene set in Mauritius was filmed in Mallorca? Talk about quality.

Some things were cut, naturally, while others were streamlined. I think it made the movie feel maybe even better-paced than the book, since the central themes were clearer when I was watching this. The movie really made the book justice, even though I didn't really like the original work all that much to begin with.

No comments:

Post a Comment