Me Before You - film reviewby James Robins
It’s a romantic premise, all right, but this rolls into the wrong territory.
Claflin plays Will, a quadriplegic despondent that he can’t get back to his money-making, suit-wearing, blonde-shagging high life in the city. Clarke is Louisa, an astonishingly twee, apparently working-class gal who ends up as his carer. There’s no doubt romance will bloom, accompanied by a selection of mawkish hits songs from Ed Sheeran. But the happily ever after is postponed when it’s revealed that Will wants to end it all with the help of Swiss self-determination group Dignitas.
Protesters, disabled and able-bodied alike, picketed the film’s premiere, asserting that Claflin’s role should have gone to someone more qualified and that his purpose in the film (adapted by Jojo Moyes from her book) is merely to reinforce intensely harmful stereotypes. As righteous as they might be, their uproar gives the whole exercise more credit than it deserves. The film is broader than a Swiss lake and certainly more dull. Despite Clarke’s best efforts to appear delightful, dressed in a parade of fluoro and flower-patterned get-ups, her default expression of glee is defiantly grating.
Astonishingly uninventive despite its supposedly “difficult” subject, Me Before You doesn’t work hard enough to capture viewers’ heads, let alone their hearts. •½
IN CINEMAS NOW
Follow the Listener on Twitter or Facebook.
Shayne Carter’s career has been wild and acclaimed. But his just-released memoir reveals the drama and trauma going on behind the scenes.Read more
Season three of The Handmaid’s Tale packs a punch, despite some implausible scenes, writes Diana Wichtel.Read more
The man accused of the Christchurch terror attacks has pleaded not guilty to all the charges laid against him.Read more
Despite overdue efforts to improve Parliament's culture, political biffo will always be with us.Read more
Transport officials’ enthusiasm for a sweeping lowering of speed limits looks set to go the way of the once-proposed ban on cats in dairies.Read more
New Zealanders who feel they've done nothing wrong have found themselves under surveillance by the state and say they've been left nervous.Read more
Epic drama captures an artist navigating the upheavals of Nazi and post-war Germany.Read more