Richard Curtis and Hugh Grant. People may want to talk this twosome down, but fact of the matter is they made charming and idilic, white English movies. I don’t say that to diss Four Weddings and a Funeral,Notting Hill, About Time or Love Actually – it is what it is.
Me Before You feels like a Richard Curtis and Hugh Grant joint. In fact, it is shocking neither are involved with this film. It’s actually rather good, and it could have been even better if someone got a hold of JoJo Moyes and forced her to change the ending.
But let me back up: Me Before You is about a paralysed former banker and his beautiful carer falling in love. Spoiler alert: he dies at the end.
If you can live with the extremely cheesy soundtrack, then you have around an hour and 40 minutes of Khaleesi… I mean Emilia Clarke being so syrupy sweet and smily that you’ll more than likely fall in love with her. Sam Claflin does a stellar job of walking that line between being a bastard and a sympathetic rich boy.
What I am trying to say is, I completely bought into Clarke and Claflin, and I wanted them to beat the odds. To be completely selfish, I wanted to feel good but the film couldn’t get out of its own way.
I completely understand why the film ended the way it did, I get the politics of the matter – but it sucked and it felt completely empty. Worse still, it felt cynical. The final third felt like a Dignitas commercial and I understand why so many disabled people felt offended.
Yes, it was a brave ending and I admire the brass required to stick with it, but if there was a more cliche and traditional finale I think this one would have gone down in the books along side Curtis’ work.
But who I’m I to judge, it over £200 million against a £20m budget, for crying out loud.