“Me Before You” evokes emotion and controversy

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“I didn’t even cry from The Notebook,” I stated proudly to my friend as we slid into our seats ready to watch the movie we had been waiting for ever since the trailer had come out: “Me Before You.”

However, my ability to withhold tears from Nicholas Sparks’ heartbreaking romance films had not prepared me for what I was about to sit through.

Adapted from the bestselling novel by Jo Jo Moyes, “Me Before You” tells the story of Louisa “Lou” Clark (Emilia Clarke), an unceasingly kind and optimistic spirit from a rowdy, working-class British family, who becomes the caregiver of a depressed quadriplegic man, Will Traynor (Sam Claflin).

Although the matchup at first appears to be most unsuitable, the two form an unexpected bond, as Lou’s unwavering smile and ridiculous outfits never fail to evoke a laugh and a witty comment from Will.

Lou was hired by Will’s parents to care for him and essentially make him want to live life again after his attempt to kill himself at an assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland.

The aspect of the film that I enjoyed was how Lou and Will helped each other see their own potential. Lou showed Will the beauty there is in living in addition to loving him regardless of his wheelchair, while Will encouraged Lou to follow her aspirations. In short, the two taught each other how to live.

What sets “Me Before You” apart is that it isn’t the typical love story, in fact the plot mainly revolves around the friendship between Lou and Will. Only near the end of the film does the romance truly bloom between them.

If Will’s heartbreaking smile and adorable British charm wasn’t enough to make me and the rest of the audience sob for a solid half hour, Ed Sheeran’s perfectly timed “Photograph” really helped set off the waterworks.

It also wasn’t just a frivolous romance film, there were heavier undertones as the movie deals with topics like living with a disability and assisted suicide. John Kelly, a quadriplegic and New England regional director a disability rights group that opposes legalization of assisted suicide, stated “ JoJo Moyes’ ignorance is allowed to promote the idea that people like me are better off dead.”

However, I do not think that is what the film suggested at all. In fact, I think it showed quite the opposite – that there is so much beauty in life and even though Will couldn’t move he still was able to find happiness in Lou and in the world around him.

“Me Before You” touches down on all the emotions; there was laughing and sobbing, but it was also incredibly powerful in its message and made me think about it hours after the movie had ended.