When Louisa Clark—Lou, as she's known—unexpectedly loses her waitressing job she must scramble to replace the income that her tight-knit family depends upon. Desperation drives her to take a job as a caregiver to Will Traynor, a man who used to be a wealthy banker with an adventurous soul, living life to the very fullest, but for whom those days are in the past. After a tragic accident, Will lost the desire to live and now keeps everyone at a distance with his caustic, overbearing attitude. But unlike his family, Lou refuses to tiptoe around him or cater to his moods. In fact, her sparkling personality and easy nature are hard for even Will to ignore, and soon enough each becomes exactly what the other needs.
'Me Before You' is one of those rare films where the author of the book also penned the screenplay for the film. In this case, it is Jojo Moyes who wrote 'Me Before You' back in 2012 and got first time filmmaker Thea Sharrock to direct the adaptation. Nobody expected for this $20 million film to score over $200 million at the box office, but it did, and despite the clunkiness of the script, you'll see why people flocked to this dramatic romance film that starred the Queen of Dragons herself - Emilia Clarke.
There isn't really anything new here in the film, but the on screen chemistry between Clarke and Sam Claflin is very charming and keeps your interest in this story, even if the story doesn't so much. Clarke plays a young woman named Louisa, who lives in a rural English village and is always putting herself last in order to help others, including her family who is down on their luck. Louise loses her job at the cafe and is in a desperate need of a job to support her father in particular. She interviews for a job to be the helper or companion of Will Traynor (Claflin), who is one of the wealthiest young men around, but is now a paraplegic due to a relatively recent accident.
Will takes himself seriously, was always successful and on the straight and narrow, but has had to give up his life completely. On the other hand, Louise, is eccentric, wild, funny, and spontaneous, which Will doesn't warm up to at first. Soon, the unlikely pair grow on one another and develop feelings for the other. Louise overhears Will's parents discussing his wishes to be euthanized, which sets off the film where Louise tries to show Will that there is still so much happiness in life. It's a bit sappy and there is really nothing with a fresh take here or that wasn't done better with 'The Intouchables', but it gets the point across. There are some side storylines that don't pan out a whole lot, but the film seems to stay on track for the most part.
The real driving force in the film is the relationship and chemistry between Will and Louise, as they light up the screen every time they are front and center. Clarke is excellent in her role, which is a big jump from the Queen of Dragons and even Sarah Connor. Here, Clarke wears her heart on her sleeve and is quirky and clumsy. It was great to see Clarke in this different role. Sam Claflin does a great job here as well, struggling every day with his situation. The film drew some controversy with the thought that paraplegics would be better off dead and not a burden to others. I didn't see that here at all, as the whole movie is showing you just how beautiful life is in all cases. The characters and relationships are all well executed here, but the clunky dialogue and story doesn't reach the top of the hill.
The Blu-Ray: Disc Stats
'Me Before You' comes with a 50GB Blu-ray Disc from Warner Bros. and is Region A Locked. There is an insert for the digital download code here too. The disc is housed in an eco-friendly, hard, blue plastic case. A couple of trailers play before the main menu screen appears.
'Me Before You' comes with a great 1080p HD transfer presented in 2.40:1 aspect ratio. This digitally shot feature looks crisp and clear throughout with excellent closeups that reveal individual hairs and makeup blemishes on the actor's faces. Wider shots of the English countryside and large estate look excellent with every stone and brick popping out. There are no soft shots here.
Colors stand out well here too with some bright primaries bursting off screen when Louisa is in her element at the cafe or with her wild wardrobe. Colors are a bit paler when inside the large estate, but that's a style choice and not a transfer issue. The black levels are deep and inky and the skin tones are natural. There were no issues with any video noise, aliasing, or banding here, leaving this video presentation with great marks.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix and sounds great even though this is a front heavy track. There are several moments where the surrounds kick into high gear, including a thunderstorm, a concert, and other people chattering in the background.
These nuanced sounds are robust, loud, and well balanced on the surround speakers, providing a mostly immersive experience. Dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to follow, and free of any pops, cracks, hiss or high shrills. There isn't a big low end sound here, but during the concert and thunderstorm, there is a decent bass sound that never goes into rocky territory.
'Me Before You': From Page to Screen (HD, 6 Mins.) - This is a promo reel for the film with cast and crew interviews that discuss the adaptation from the book to the film.
Deleted Scenes (HD, 6 Mins.) - There are eight scenes in total here, none of which add any significant weight to the movie.
Outtakes (HD, 2 Mins.) - A short montage of missed cues and flubbed dialogue.
'Me Before You' isn't exactly all flowers, puppy dogs, ice cream, and laughs. There are some very melodramatic and serious issues here in this story. The connection and relationship with Louise and Will is excellent and Emilia and Sam's on screen chemistry really drives this movie home, even with the clumsy script and story. The video and audio presentations are both great, but the extras are short and don't offer much. Worth a look for sure.