By now we’ve come across a few articles about how Me Before You — the Jojo Moyes film adaptation of her best-selling novel — left some reviewers sitting in a puddle of their own tears, despite the fact that their cold, black hearts haven’t felt a single feel since Nancy Kerrigan won the silver medal back in ‘94.
Run-ons aside, Me Before You can be considered the twenty-tens’ Love Story. It’s an oversimplified comparison, of course. Both films spend some time tackling the evolution of a relationship when it begins to broach some v. serious real-life issues: illness, death, and depression. The difference — and it’s kind of a big one — is that the male protagonist in Me Before You has been paralyzed from the neck down, and we learn very quickly that he has lost the will to live.
Emilia Clarke plays Lou Clark, the plucky, 20-something with few ambitions and many questionable fashion choices. Here our faithful protagonist first meets her ward, Will Traynor (played by Sam Claflin), who has just pulled out his best Stephen Hawking impression. In this scene — the first of many — her eyebrows say what we are all thinking.
The first half of the movie is just like that Avril Lavigne song: He was a boy. She was a girl. Can I make it any more obvious? Here, let me take a stab at it: Will grew up privileged and worked in London as an investment banker. He had it all: the leggy blonde, seemingly endless PTO, and a swanky London flat he clearly paid an interior designer to decorate. A motorbike accident turns him into a quadriplegic and Will falls into a deep depression, one that his mother assumes the spunky, free-spirited Clark can cure.
Lou, on the other hand, has never left her sleepy little town. She lives with her parents, has been dating Neville Longbottom since high school, and is content with her simple life. Moyes’ novel delves a little more into her hesitation with leaving in a subplot that the film adaptation doesn’t go into. For now, we must accept that Lou is just a homely gal with endless bouts of optimism, a great eyebrow regimen, and a penchant for falling for the wrong guys.
The two are so inherently different, but just like the doomed Sk8r boi and popular girl in Avril’s song, they fall in love. TBH, Will is a low-key d-bag, but it helps that he’s also really really ridiculously good-looking. That, and he’s an active listener. So take note, men. The guy in the wheelchair ends up with the girl (sort of) because he doesn’t dismiss some inane story about bumblebee tights.
TL;DR: Finnick and Danerys Targaryn fall in love, a terrible thing happens in the end, people get something in their eyes, and Ed Sheeran writes the songs you put in movies if you really want to pander to your audience. And if you don’t believe in heartfelt things like love, living boldly, or that people can change, at least trust in a pair of excellent eyebrows.