Formulaic flick saved by eye candy and chemistry
Me Before You (PG13)
Drama/110 minutes/Opens today
Louisa "Lou" Clark (Emilia Clarke) finds a job as a caregiver to Will Traynor (Sam 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 (Steve Peacocke). Lou, a ray of sunshine, ends up melting the frosty Will and falling for him.
IF THE Hunger Games movie franchise did not turn Claflin (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 Thea 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 NEW PAPER