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Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Marielle Ariete, Cactus Writer

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On January 5, 2012, Jojo Moyes had a book published entitled, Me Before You. It follows the story of Louisa Clark, a quirky girl in her mid-twenties from a middle-class family. She finds a job as a caretaker for Will Traynor, a man who was paralyzed after a motorcycle accident two years prior. With Louisa’s cheery disposition and Will’s bitter attitude, the two figure out what “living life” really means. In this edition of Read VS View, we’ll be looking at the differences between the book and the movie, which was released on June 3, 2016. As usual, spoilers lie ahead so proceed with caution.

When it comes to similarities, this film was fairly accurate. Louisa Clark and Will Traynor are brought to life by Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin and it is undeniable that the two actors have a certain kind of chemistry that helps convince their audience. The film is still the intended tear-jerker the book was, with starry-eyed smiles and heartbreaking ultimatums.

There were several differences when it came to bringing the book into fruition, though those differences are somewhat forgivable. Will doesn’t have his sister, Georgiana, to tell Louisa about his plan to commit suicide and Patrick doesn’t tell the press about Will’s plans in Switzerland. One of the biggest differences is the maze event that happens in the book. This is an event that shapes Louisa’s bubbly personality, though I think it’s an omission that can go unnoticed. Overall, the changes made to the story were simply out of necessity and choosing whether or not a detail was necessary in telling the story of Will and Louisa.

Because of the topic of disability, there was a lot of controversy over the book and movie. Many people were upset about the movie’s slogan: Live boldly. Live Well. Just live. A large majority of the disabled community believed that this movie promoted the idea that having a disability meant that it wasn’t possible to live a full life. After reading this book and watching this movie, I can agree with those who are upset about it. Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin (amongst other brilliant actors) may be talented and the film itself was well-made, but the message behind a story is what drives it. Similarities and differences alike, the movie was alright, but the message behind it is better left unread.

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