Me Before You: Movie Review (Response)

Photograph: Alex Bailey/AP

I immediately recognised this scene from the book. Photograph: Alex Bailey/AP

So I was going through a daily Guardian news update and this article caught my eye. Why? I saw these three words: me, before, and you.

Nothing incredible about them, right? But in that order, they form the title of a book that touched my heart.  I read Me Before You almost two years ago, and it touched me so deeply I blogged about it here. So, of course I clicked on the link thinking, ‘What are they saying about the book now?

The first thing that registered was that there’s a movie coming out (or is already out)! The next thing, was that it was quite clear the author didn’t think much of the book or the movie.

Mr Gilbey, le author, criticises the book and its movie adaptation for casting disability as a ‘life-ender’, as well as seemingly glorifying euthanasia. On these two things, I don’t have much comment. Like I said in my post, it’s a very deep topic. And I think it’s a very slippery slope to speak about things without firsthand experience. So I’ll be quiet on those points. If the article had stopped there, I wouldn’t be writing this at all. Buuuuut my man Gilbey took it to another level, he went on to say this:

But Lou’s story also plays like a chaste, romantic ideal dreamed up by the abstinence lobby. Will won’t be making any sexual demands on Lou. And, like the perfect terminally ill boyfriend in The Fault in Our Stars, he won’t stick around to get old and wrinkly: Lou can treasure the image of her handsome billionaire forever…

And I’m like ‘Gaaasp! Oh no, you di’int.‘ What? Where? When? How? The level of balderdashity (to put it politely) contained in the above quote is alarming. And I’m thinking, ‘You should have ended this piece like 2 paragraphs ago bruh.‘ I have to conclude that it’s either

  1. This man did not read the book from beginning to end. Maybe he just read bits and pieces and filled in the blanks with his own conjurations. Or,
  2. The movie totally misrepresents the book

Why? Because I don’t see how anyone can read that book and come up with the inferences above. Well, yeah, everyone has a different perspective and whatnot. But still… I’m even to weak to start detailing why his conclusions are way off mark. Please read the book, and let’s hear what you think. Maybe I’m overly romantic? Because the cynicism dripping off those words… ???

To be fair, the major thrust of the article revolved around the representation of disability, and this last bit just seemed to be thoughtlessly tacked on at the end – like ‘Oya, let’s just throw one last shade.‘ Maybe I should go sleep on it. Oh well…

xoxo

Update: Came across this touching story of a little girl who had to make a similar choice to Will’s in the novel.

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2 thoughts on “Me Before You: Movie Review (Response)

  1. I adored every minute of this film. The trailer for Me Before You (2016) promises a sweet romantic comedy but the film is an emotionally challenging confrontation with the moral dilemmas of assisted dying.

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