Film Review: Me Before You

A few nights ago, we saw Me Before You on TV. It’s based on the book of the same name by Jojo Moyes.

Young and quirky Louisa “Lou” Clark (Emilia Clarke) moves from one job to the next to help her family make ends meet. Her cheerful attitude is put to the test when she becomes a caregiver for Will Traynor (Sam Claflin), a wealthy young banker left paralyzed from an accident two years earlier. Will’s cynical outlook starts to change when Louisa shows him that life is worth living. As their bond deepens, their lives and hearts change in ways neither one could have imagined.

I did enjoy the film. I liked the characters but I wondered about some things. First, why oh why did Will have to do an impression of Daniel Day Lewis’s character in My Left Foot as soon as Lou met him for the first time? I did not find this funny at all. It was disrespectful towards those of us with CP. And anyway, Will is a character with a spinal injury, not CP.

Another thing- and this is the second film I have seen with the clichéd rich person-has-their-life-turned-round-by-an-accident theme where the bouse is huge enough and well-adapted to the person to be able to live there. There was the expensive powerchair (which I recognised as the Permobil F5) as well as the private jet.

That aside, though, the reason I wanted to see the film was because I wanted to put faces to the story of one of Jojo Moyes’ popular books and it looked so romantic from the trailer. Lou is funny, quirky and upbeat while Will is serious but then starts to show his romantic side which is evident right to the end.

What we noticed was the ease with which the powerchair got up quite a steep slope at the castle which was impressive and also Lou’s care of will was well done, but with humour in there, too, and the romantic moments between them were just so powerful. The knowledge of spinal injury (or what I know) was well-represented too which made for a believable film.

I’m glad this was on TV and I recommend it. Me Before You is romantic, realistic and unmissable, I just have to listen to the book now.


Film Review: You’re Not You

Yesterday, I started a blog post series about reviews of books with the life of a character with disabilities as their focus and last night we saw You’re Not You. I immediately wanted to see it as I never had before.

The film is about Kate (Hilary Swank) whose marriage is on the rocks. Kate has ALS and starts looking around for a caregiver. Bec (played by Emmy Rossum) a college student,  turns up at her house and, after a trial period, gets the job.

From then on, we see Kate’s journey in life and with ALS and the  bond  between her and Bec. I immediately identified with some parts, the happiness of getting on with someone who cares for you and also the more difficult times when the relationship seems to be in trouble. The film confirms all the good things I know personally about having someone you trust as a caregiver. That it gives security and there’s always someone to talk to. That a bond like this requires trust on both sides.

The film is very “real” as it shows those awkward moments when a new carer starts to work and the difficult task of having to explain what you beed to them and boping they will do their job how you need them to.

It shows how sometimes relationships can be affected and how if the caregiver really does their job well, they will be there for you whatever hapens.

You’re  Not You is a very realistic and well-acted film with happy and sad parts. It confirmed what I know about ALS but also taught me more. After Hilary Swank’s role in Million Dollar Baby, which is one of our favourite movies, this shows that she is an incredibly talented actress with a natural flair to make emotional, captivating films.

I was intrigued by Bec’s character and proud of her in her decision to go for the caregiving job. In my experience, that shows she had a very human, giving side and is something I have rarely known students to do in real life because of the responsibility outside university life. I did have a carer myself in the past whose son helped out at a care home so I know some people are more inclined towards wanting to help in this way. I encourage it.

Overall, You’re Not You made an impact on both of us and is well worth a watch.

4 stars