I have a love/hate relationship with movie adaptations of books I love. I tend to be an eternal optimist with the people and things I love in my life and movies are no different. There has never been a time when I groan over the idea that a book I have enjoyed is becoming a movie but there have been plenty of times when I’ve actually yelled at my television or at the movie screen (usually a silent scream if I’m in public) at the horrible mess they made of my beloved book. Most significant example to date: Ella Enchanted. I really feel like this is a movie I could have greatly enjoyed if hadn’t been given the same title at my most loved book of all time. The horrors that movie wrought though…*shudders*
When I decided to read Me Before You, it was actually because I had seen the previews for the movie and the cast alone was enough to intrigue me. It helped that my 2016 Book Challenge had a spot for “Book to Movie adaptations” because that just gave me the little extra shove I needed to read the book.
Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.
What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.
I realize I gush over almost every book I post about (it’s kind of why I started blogging) but this book made me cry harder than any book has made me cry in a long time. If a book can make me walk away from it feeling torn about how it ended, it’s usually a good sign of a good book. I know how I wanted it to end, but I’m also empathetic to the way it had to end.
That said, I had very high hopes for the movie and I was not the least bit disappointed. It’s important to point out that Moyes also wrote the screenplay for the movie, so I was already able to breathe a sigh of relief over that. I had no fear of awful character casting or of important scenes being left out. Everything and everyone that was crucial in the book was portrayed well and accurately in the movie.
Did I want a four-hour long movie to cover every single detail like I usually do with book to movie adaptations? For once, no. There were a couple of times in the book where I would think “Okay, I get it, but I don’t think it’s necessary.” There is one element of Lou’s past that was really interesting, but not crucial to story plot that was left out of the movie and why I think I may have enjoyed seeing how that played out on the big screen, I don’t think it would have flowed well for people who didn’t read the book and only saw the movie. There were certain nuances to that part of the book that were greatly implied throughout that a reader could catch but wouldn’t be pronounced enough to display on-screen without it seeming out-of-place.
Did I cry during the movie? Abso-freaking-lutely. Disclaimer: I am halfway through a pregnancy so one may say that hormones were at play but I still think I would have ugly cried my way through the last half of the movie like I did this time. I’m very thankful I didn’t see it with my husband who laughs at me when I tear up at movies because he would have been having a heyday with this. It was all happening: the blotchy face, running eyes and nose, and shortness of breath. Crazy. There was just something about seeing the scenes played out before me that made me lose it.
Also worth noting: if you’re really any sort of television/movie nerd, this movie had it all! Bates from Downton Abbey plays Lou’s father, Lou herself is the mother of dragons, Will Traynor is Finnick O’Dair, Clara (the impossible Girl-Doctor Who) is Lou’s sister, and Neville Longbottom plays Patrick, the awful boyfriend. I was nerding all over the place while watching the movie.
What book to movie adaptations do you love? Hate? Scared for in the future? Let me know in the comments below!