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Movie Review

Me Before You

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements and some suggestive material.

Reviewed by: Miles Bowler—first time reviewer
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults Mature Teens
Genre:
Romance Drama Adaptation
Length:
1 hr. 50 min.
Year of Release:
2016
USA Release:
June 3, 2016 (wide—2,500+ theaters)
DVD: August 30, 2016
Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures

dealing with paralysis / spinal core injury

proving that life is worth living

TRUE LOVE—What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

Issue of pain and suffering

Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer

What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer

Does God feel our pain? Answer

ORIGIN OF BAD—How did bad things come about? Answer

Did God make the world the way it is now? What kind of world would you create? Answer

Suicide

SUICIDE—What does the Bible say? Answer

If a Christian commits suicide, will they go to Heaven? Answer

Hope

About hope

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Discover God’s promise for all people—told beautifully and clearly from the beginning. Discover The HOPE! Watch it on-line, full-length motion picture.
Featuring: Emilia Clarke … Louisa Clark
Sam Claflin … William Traynor
Vanessa Kirby … Alicia
Charles Dance … Steven Traynor
Jenna Coleman … Katrina Clark
Matthew Lewis … Patrick
Joanna Lumley …
Janet McTeer … Camilla Traynor
more »
Director: Thea Sharrock
Producer: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
New Line Cinema
Distributor: New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures

Promotes assisted suicide as “an act of love”

When we saw the previews of this movie, we were determined to view it, as we have a 32-year old son who is wheel-chair bound and has one usable limb.

The movie is well-acted by all the main characters, with Emilia Clark (Lou) playing the spunky, compassionate, inexperienced gave-giver to the bitter recluse, Sam Clafin (Will). After Will is made a quadreplegic by a motorcycle accident, his parents are looking for someone to take care of him. Lou needs the money, so she takes the job. At first, Will doesn’t want anything to do with her, but she soon wins him over with her desire to help him.

The movie is great up to about the ⅔ point, with Lou taking him on trips, the horse races, etc., but then we find out he wants to commit suicide. So, for the rest of the movie, Lou is constantly trying to get him to change his mind. They eventually fall in love, but it’s not enough to cause him to forego the assisted suicide. You would think Lou would try to convince Will to let God use him, but no, not in another liberal, agenda-driven, propaganda film.

The end shows her in Paris, all happy-go-lucky, beginning her new life.

Like I said earlier, there is no nudity, though there are two scenes implying pre-marital sex between Will and his girl friend, Jenna, and also between Lou and her previous boy friend.

God and Jesus are mentioned once, and that is only during the blessing for a meal at her parent’s house. It’s too bad. This was an opportunity to give both sides of the issue.

Violence: None / Profanity: Moderate—“I swear to God,” “Jesus” (2), “hell” (2), s-words (2), “p*ss,” “shag” (1), “booby” (1), “a**” (2), “a**hole” (1) / Sex/Nudity: Mild to moderate

Editor’s Note:
Editor’s Note: The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (Ontario, Canada) and LifeNews.com are urging people to boycott “Me Before You,” because they say it promotes the idea that if you’re a disabled person, you’re better off dead.

A female reviewer’s take

Reviewed by: Elicia Roy—first time reviewer
CONTRIBUTOR

After seeing the preview of “Me Before You,” I said in my mind, “This movie looks like the ultimate chick flick; I must go and see it.” As one who usually looks up a review before seeing movies, I did not do it in this case, which I regret.

“Me Before You” takes the viewer on a journey of love and hope, only to crash and burn and never recover. The movie plays to every girl’s dream of being like a Cinderella, who goes from humble beginnings to being in a castle. Just the thought of being a servant worker in a castle for a very wealthy family is a romantic notion to a commoner. What girl would not want to see a beast, as in “Beauty and the Beast,” melt with the power of love, as Belle caused to happen to her beast?

A hardworking coffee shop waitress, named Louisa loses her job, and becomes employed as a caregiver for a “beastly” man named Will. He has had an unfortunate accident leaving him paralyzed. He is morose and angry that he no longer has the life that he once had. He is sarcastic and unkind toward those who attempt to help him. The friendly and kind Louisa, persists in showing care and love to the Will, which breaks down many walls in him. He begins to smile again and starts to see the beauty in life again… so the viewer is left to think.

Louisa finds out that Will has made plans to go to Switzerland to take his own life by physician—assisted suicide. She begins to make plans to take Will out of the castle and experience life again, in hopes of renewing his desire to live and to help him out of his slump. They go various places together, including attending a wedding and symphony. Will becomes aware of his remaining senses that include: sight, hearing, tasting, smelling, though is only hindered by the sense of feeling below the neck due to the paralysis. The viewer has been given hope. Will is able to communicate well, and can think clearly enough to make his own decisions. Unfortunately, he lacks the wisdom and knowledge that his life has been given to him as a gift by God, despite his unfortunate accident and subsequent limitations.

A few months go by, and caregiver Louisa and Will begin to develop feelings for one another. There are a few romantic scenes of kissing and sexual suggestions. Tension ensues when there is a declaration of love between the two, knowing that Will intends on taking his life and will not be swayed by anything, including the love that they have begun to share.

Without revealing the end, it is clear that there are wrong messages throughout this movie. According to the world’s standards, one has it all if they are rich, handsome, lively and athletic, which were all qualities that Will possessed prior to his accident. In his mind, his entire world ended, when he lost his abilities. He had a taste of living again through the power of love, but despite rediscovering life and love, he decided that he had nothing left to live for, in his mind, not even for love’s sake.

This movie will be offensive to Christians who believe in the sacredness and sanctity of human life. Those who live according to the world’s belief system will agree with the movie’s message: that man has a right to serve and preserve self first. Also, the message is conveyed that if our lives are faced with disability, we no longer have a reason to live. The film could not be titled more perfectly: “Me Before You.” This was a truly tragic film.

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—I don’t share the idea that this movie promotes or romantizes eutanasia. On the contrary, I’ve discussed with all my non-Christian friends the ending of the movie and ALL have agreed that this is not a OK choice. It has given us good discussions about life, it’s sacredness and meaning of life. All agreed that Will actually had a lot to live for. It was his choice not the world’s choice nor a popular one. And it defiantely was not a right one. So, basically, I think this movie actually makes people to think against eutanasia and see how wrong it is.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Krista, age 45 (Estonia)
Neutral
Neutral—The movie is 95% laughter, but sadly to say the endlng was not biblical and tragic! It does show the battle of suffering of the disabled, but my Christian disabled friends have never given up like that. The movie shows the difference between having hope and not having hope in Christ.
—Debra Smith (USA)
Negative
Negative—If I had only known ahead of time where this movie was going to take me I would not have wasted my time and money on it. I have disabled friends who do not have near the privilege this man was born into and had before he became disabled, This man had a family who loved him and friends who chose to come see him and a business brain that still was intact but he chose to live in a pity party and not treasure what he had and could do, but bitterly give up, because he lost being able to play and party like he use to. There was so much potential in this movie to show that you can contribute to this world the best you can with what you have. He could have learned from this girl who came into his life with a positive can do attitude and engaging spirit.

I thought he would wake up when Lou spoke up and told him how she really felt and walked away. Instead of him waking up you see Lou give in and you are taken on this train ride to destruction and sadness. Then to see Lou who had a boyfriend who was dedicated to his goals and dreams and able to slow down and hear and be romantic—if she just spoke up. A man she was physically involved with outside of marriage and then for her to abandon that relationship and jump right into a relationship with a selfish ego centric man was not good as well.

The negative messages this movie made about commitment to relationships, sacredness to the sexual union, and sacredness to life, reeked of propaganda to push traditional values of the Christian community out of the theater.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Bre Goss, age 55 (USA)
Negative—What an ignorant choice to end this movie the way they did. The movie was actually very well made, and it was very funny. I was surprised during the movie how much I liked it, especially being actors I didn’t know and accents not familiar to me. The utterly useless mention of gay porn a few times was totally pointless, and, of course, she falls in love with this man, while with her other boyfriend. Yes, I understand her other boyfriend was no good for her. There wasn’t much cussing, at all. It did deal with so many issues and was such an emotional movie, if only in the end love had won his heart. I was utterly disgusted by this selfishness to end his own life, especially when even though he was struggling with this new injury where he couldn’t do the things he used to, he was more privileged then 99% of this world!

I understand I have NO idea how difficult it would be to become paralyzed when you were at the height this man was in life, but did see the clarity, how when he refused to let go of just accepting where he was and living life with that experience, instead of his previous one, that is the main reason why he was still miserable. It was about this pride.

I made the mistake of not reading these reviews before I watched it, at least I would have known how it ended going into it, instead of buying into the hope that love was changing him. It was sad to see how caught up in his own ego he was; it was a form of idolatry to be so consumed with your life and abilities and now that those are taken away from you, you want to end your life.

This movie gave no inclination it was a Christian movie, so not surprised there, but suicide is murder. God is the author of life, and we don’t really have the choice whether we live or die, that is in God’s hands not ours, no matter how miserable our lives get with what we can or cannot do. He was so stuck in his own pity party that he could not see all the great things he still did have.

It also sadden me for them to portray suicide as a personal choice, when so many struggle with depression. I also lived with my husband who dealt with suicide issues for years, and its a horrible thing to live with. But he realized there are probably great consequences to killing ourselves, and he was not 100% sure he would go to Heaven if he did. So ending his life could have put him in a more unbelievable misery in Hell, for someone that is truly saved is not going to commit murder.

I hope that even anyone reading this that might be struggling with this, just don’t even let that be an option in your mind. It can get better, you can get better, especially when you know God and let Him heal your broken heart. My husband is doing great now, no medication and loving life even though, yes, it gets hard sometimes.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Stephanie, age 41 (USA)
Negative—After watching the film “Me Before You,” I had a definite impression that this film was created as propaganda to “normalize” euthanasia in the eye of the general public. Starting in the mid-1930s until the early 1940s, the Nazi party created a series of propaganda films with the same result in mind. There is a documentary on YouTube about the Nazi propaganda films. Quote from the film: “During the Third Reich some 200,000 mentally and physically disabled people were murdered by deliberate starvation, lethal medication, and toxic gas.” (“Selling Murder: The Secret Propaganda Films of the Third Reich” documentary.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Lee, age 63 (USA)
Movie Critics

…the best kind of tearjerker… its message—live boldly, as the movie’s hashtag encourages—is an admonition that’s awfully hard to argue. [3/4]
—Connie Ogle, The Miami Herald

…“Me Before You” manages to avoid the worst of melodrama trappings a la Nicholas Sparks… The film is also gorgeous to behold. … [3/4]
—Chris Knight, National Post

…There’s gentle manipulation, and then there’s having your arms manacled to a freight train of weepy catharsis, which is roughly the experience awaiting viewers of “Me Before You”… This vacuous idea of what makes a life worth living is what really undoes it as a film worth seeing. [2/5]
—Tim Robey, The Telegraph [UK]

…a schmaltzy and offensive depiction of disability… this film equates wealth with value and vulnerability with death. [1/4]
—Julia Cooper, The Globe and Mail

…aspires to be sweetly romantic … and ends up being a vulgar, maddening, frustrating movie that endorses euthanasia. …
—Adam R. Holz, Plugged In

…Emilia Clarke deserves better than bad romance…
—Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

…When ‘Me Before You’ gets dark, it gets weird… twists into very dark territory—a drastic tonal shift that neither its stars nor debuting director, Thea Sharrock, a respected stage veteran, manage with dramatic credibility. … [2/4]
—Lou Lumenick, New York Post

…abhorrent… unlikely, unconvincing romance leads to evil, stupid decision…
—Ted Baehr, Movieguide

…the movie’s determination to romanticize assisted suicide sends the chilling message to others who suffer similarly that their lives aren’t worth living either. That they, too, should just kill themselves. …
—Adam R. Holz, Plugged In

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