Movie Date: Me Before You (PG13)
Me Before You has enough overall charm to be the perfect date movie.
STARRING Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Stephen Peacocke, Matthew Lewis
DIRECTOR Thea Sharrock
THE SKINNY Louisa "Lou" Clark finds a job as a caregive to Will Traynor (Claflin), a quadriplegic millionaire who has locked himself away in his parents' castle. Her task is to be Will's companion along with his male nurse Nathan (Peacocke). Lou, a ray of sunshine, ends up melting the frosty Will and falling for him.
MARS - JASON JOHNSON
The story here is really pretty interesting.
It is a romance between a girl who is all body, and a guy who is all brain.
The girl is a cheerful ditz, but she is fully present in the physical world.
She is socially engaged and active, though not exactly sporty. Outlandishly beautiful, her concern on any given day is what outfit she is going to wear.
As for the guy, he is an intellectual, an aristocrat who excelled in the world of high finance before a terrible accident landed him in a wheelchair. He is worldly and sophisticated, moody but not without a sense of humour.
Separately, they're incomplete, not to mention dull. Together, they're dazzling. It is a beautiful illustration of how two people with nothing in common can be drawn together.
The bubbly beauty and the paralysed guy inhabit two completely different worlds, but that's fine.
Each is like an astronaut exploring an alien planet. She is awestruck by his castle. He is charmed by her humble family over dinner.
Most of us are suckers for these sorts of stories.
Some may accuse Me Before You of being slight and silly, but I find it quite profound.
It is a great-looking movie with cool actors, juicy themes, fun moments but sad ones too. There is nothing not to like.
VENUS - JOANNE SOH
If The Hunger Games movie franchise didn't turn Claflin aka Finnick Odair into an official dreamboat, Me Before You certainly will.
He is the best thing in this love story based on Jojo Moyes' best-selling novel.
Even when he is strapped down to his wheelchair and left with only his face to emote, Claflin brings impressive depth to his thinly written role.
Each furrow of the brow, each smize, each flash of those dimples will make your heart flutter.
Australian newcomer Peacocke is pretty easy on the eyes too.
Director Sharrock, making her feature film debut, ticks all the right boxes for a formulaic flick that reeks of Nicholas Sparks tearjerkers. The difference is that this is not a three-hanky movie.
Sure, you may get teary-eyed at the end, but Clarke's exuberance will make you smile more than weep. Her bubbliness is infectious, though at times it becomes quite annoying.
It is a pity that, despite wielding so much potential, Me Before You is so uninspired. Then there is the issue of euthanasia, which is taken a bit too lightly.
Thankfully, Claflin and Clarke's winsome chemistry keeps everything afloat.
The picturesque locations and her whimsical clothes help move it along too.
THE CONSENSUS Quibbles aside, Me Before You has enough overall charm to be the perfect date movie.