Me Before You (film)
|Me Before You|
|Directed by||Thea Sharrock|
|Written by||Jojo Moyes|
|Based on||Me Before You|
by Jojo Moyes
|Edited by||John Wilson|
|Music by||Craig Armstrong|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$208.3 million|
Me Before You is a 2016 romantic drama film directed by Thea Sharrock in her directorial debut and adapted by English author Jojo Moyes from her 2012 novel of the same name. The film stars Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Janet McTeer, Charles Dance, and Brendan Coyle.
Set in the United Kingdom, the film was shot in various historic locations across the countries, including Pembroke Castle in Wales and Chenies Manor House in Buckinghamshire, England. Released on 3 June 2016 in the United Kingdom and North America, the film received mixed reviews and grossed $208 million worldwide.
Louisa "Lou" Clark is hired as carer for Will Traynor, a once successful banker and active sportsman now tetraplegic after being hit by a motorcycle. Will's mother hopes Lou's bubbly personality will lift Will's depressed and cynical spirits. Will is initially cold towards Lou. Will's ex-girlfriend Alicia visits and reveals that she is to marry Will's former best friend Rupert. Lou perseveres with Will and, as the two grow close, she learns he is cultured and worldly, in contrast to her simple life spent with her parents or boyfriend Patrick.
Overhearing an argument between Will's parents, Lou learns that Will has conceded six months to them before he will go to Dignitas in Switzerland for assisted suicide, unable as he is to accept a disabled life. Lou takes it upon herself to change his mind by organising trips and adventures to show him that life is still worth living. Patrick's jealousy grows until he and Lou split up.
Will asks Lou to accompany him to Alicia's wedding. They start to fall in love. During a luxurious trip to Mauritius, Will tells Lou he still intends to take assisted suicide, saying he wants her to live a full life instead of half a life with him. Heartbroken, Lou quits as Will's caregiver and refuses contact with him.
Lou's father convinces her to visit Will, but she finds he has already left for Switzerland. She follows him there to be with him in his final moments.
Some weeks after Will's death, sitting in his favourite café in Paris, Lou reads a letter he left for her. In it, he says he has left her enough money to follow her dreams and encourages her to live abundantly.
- Emilia Clarke as Louisa "Lou" Clark
- Sam Claflin as William "Will" Traynor
- Janet McTeer as Camilla Traynor
- Charles Dance as Steven Traynor
- Brendan Coyle as Bernard Clark
- Steve Peacocke as Nathan
- Matthew Lewis as Patrick
- Jenna Coleman as Katrina "Treena" Clark
- Samantha Spiro as Josie Clark
- Alan Breck as Grandad
- Vanessa Kirby as Alicia Dawares
- Joanna Lumley as Mary Rawlinson
- Ben Lloyd-Hughes as Rupert Collins
- Chris Wilson as Major Timothy Dawares
On 2 April 2014, it was announced Thea Sharrock would direct the film. On 2 September 2014, Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin were cast in the film. Stephen Peacocke was cast on 24 March 2015, with Jenna Coleman and Charles Dance cast on 2 April 2015. On 9 April 2015, Janet McTeer joined the cast; Brendan Coyle, Matthew Lewis, Samantha Spiro, Vanessa Kirby and Ben Lloyd-Hughes joined the cast the next day.
Principal photography began in April 2015 and ended on 26 June 2015. The film was shot in various locations in the United Kingdom, including Pembroke Castle in Pembroke, Wales (the Traynors' estate); Wytham Abbey in Oxfordshire, England (the Traynors' home within the castle walls); Sandown Park in Esher, Surrey, England (horse race and airport check-in scenes); Harrow, London (Lou's family home); and Chenies Manor House in Chenies, Buckinghamshire, England (wedding scenes), while Mallorca, Spain, stands in for Mauritius.
In July 2014, it was announced that the film would be released on 21 August 2015. In May 2015, the film's release date was moved to 3 June 2016. In November 2015, the film's release date was brought forward, to 4 March 2016, before being delayed again in January 2016, to its previous 3 June 2016 release date.
Me Before You grossed $56.2 million in North America and over $152 million in other territories for a total of $208.3 million, against a budget of $20 million.
In North America, Me Before You opened on 3 June 2016 alongside Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows and was expected to gross around $15 million from 2,704 theaters in its opening weekend. The film grossed $1.4 million from its Thursday night previews and $7.8 million on its first day. In its opening weekend the film grossed $18.3 million, finishing third at the box office behind Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows ($35.3 million) and X-Men: Apocalypse ($22.3 million).
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 54% based on reviews from 180 critics, and an average rating of 5.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Me Before You benefits from Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin's alluring chemistry, although it isn't enough to compensate for its clumsy treatment of a sensitive subject." On Metacritic the film has a score of 51 out of 100 based on 36 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly gave it a grade of B+ and wrote: "It may not quite rise to the level of a classic three-hankie tearjerker, but it's proof that sometimes one or two hankies is more than enough to get the job done."  
|People's Choice Awards||Favorite Dramatic Movie||Me Before You||Won|||
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Liplock||Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin||Nominated|||
|MTV Movie & TV Awards||Tearjerker||Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin||Nominated|||
Controversy and protests
The film sparked criticism from many in the disability rights movement, who perceive an underlying message that people with disabilities are a burden on their families and carers, and claim the film promotes the view that people are better off dead than disabled. They view the film as advocating suicide so that their loved ones can "live boldly". Others found the film exploitative of the disability community by stirring the emotions of viewers without actually aiding the disabled by accurate representation or employment in acting roles, while pointing out the casting of able-bodied actors as disabled characters. The #MeBeforeEuthanasia backlash was led by celebrities with disabilities including Liz Carr, Penny Pepper, Mik Scarlet, and Cherylee Houston in the United Kingdom, and Dominick Evans and Emily Ladau in the United States,as well as activists from Not Dead Yet in both countries. Protests in the United States occurred in cities including Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, Hartford, Denver, Atlanta, Chicago, Baltimore and Philadelphia. There were also protests in Australia.
In response to the backlash, author Jojo Moyes said the story was inspired by her own family where relatives required 24-hour care, as well as a real-life news story about a quadriplegic man who convinced his parents to take him to a centre for assisted suicide. About Traynor's decision she said: "The fact is, in the film as in the book, nobody else agrees with what he decides to do. This is not by any means sending out a message. It's just about one character – it's nothing more than that."
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