For the past couple years I have learned to ignore the idiotic and biased “critiques” that come from the well-known Rotten Tomatoes website. The critics that end up with their reviews on the site seem to have specific taste in movies and if a certain film does not match that taste then, by their specifications, the movie is garbage.
This has fully prompted me into writing my Book vs. Movie Review for Me Before You. I went to see this film, after having read the book in May, with my lovely husband, three of my good friends, and one of my friends’ mom and sister. Two of my friends had a difficult time not shedding tears or blubbering throughout points in the film. But Rotten Tomatoes wants to say it was a blubbering mess. Well, yeah that’s the point.
SPOILERS!!! Do not read this if you have not read the book or watched the film. If you have done neither then go to Amazon and get the book. Do it. Right now.
If you want to read their “reviews” of the movie then click the link here, if you dare.
Anyway, I could rant about those people for days so we must move on.
I don’t normally go see movies like this (romantic or little action) in theaters because I feel like they are best for sitting at home and enjoying with made-at-home popcorn and snuggles :). But I had to go see it because I couldn’t wait.
The movie follows the book timeline well. There are bits throughout the movie that are sped up or shortened, in a sense, to make up for movie time but I think that is something that we will just have to expect when it comes to book-to-movie adaptations. However, I didn’t feel like I lost anything from the bits that were shortened or sped up. The story still held itself together and the audience gets to feel and see everything (mostly) that was included in the book. I know that they did this well enough because the people who failed to read the book beforehand wanted to desperately after watching the movie. Kudos movie people, you have potentially turned your audience into book readers (maybe).
I wasn’t sure I was going to like this book. No, honestly I really wasn’t sure. I had read reviews and had seen the trailer and I knew I had to see the mushiness of it but wasn’t sure if the book would be as sappy as what I was hoping it would be. It was better. I got to know Lou on a level that some authors don’t establish between reader and character. I fell in love with her personality, her silliness, and her absolute unique personality. I would want her to be my friend if she were real. Oh and let’s not even go down the Will Traynor road. Okay, I have to! For a man who is handicapped, Moyes was able to create a hell of a character. Remember how all crazed the teenagers got over Edward in Twilight (I know more Twilight references)? Okay, Will Traynor is about on the same level of jerk-hawt-guy, but he is HANDICAPPED. Handicapped, people, and Moyes was still able to make him be sexy. Okay I gotta stop or my husband will get jealous over a handicapped fictional dude.
The movie missed a great opportunity to show us more of Treena (Lou’s sister played by Jenna Coleman), Lou’s parents (Samantha Spiro and Brendan Coyle), and Patrick (Lou’s boyfriend who is played by Matthew Lewis). I think that they spent a lot more time on the Main Character’s (rightly so) than showing us the side characters. I personally would have liked to see the established Treena that we meet in the book (and to see more of Jenna Coleman) as well as seeing more of Patrick (Matthew Lewis is so grown up now!!). They missed some drama points by having those two characters’ stories not be as much of a focal point for Lou as it is in the book. I mean she makes some of her decisions around those people because of what they’ve done or said to her. Overall, the two MCs were fantastic and beautifully cast. Props to the movie genies for making those decisions. The cast in general was spot on.
What was added/taken out?
There were several so I think bullet points are necessary here.
- Patrick and Lou moving in together
- Lou’s small bedroom
- Lou moving into the big bedroom when Treena moves out
- The severity of Lou’s parents lack of money
- Lou’s grandfather
- More reasons why the cafe job was such a loss for her (customers, atmosphere, etc.)
- Patrick and Lou’s relationship overall seemed to be undermined to give her the full justification for leaving him
- The happenings in the maze
- Their first kiss didn’t happen in the book like they presented it in the film
- The cover is a lie. She wore a blue dress when she sat on his lap at the wedding, although in the book she wore the red one. Lies.
I think that is pretty much all of them. I would have to re-watch the film in order to catch all the little details missed between movie and book. I mentioned these specifically because I think that they would have added more depth to the characters and given the audience more insight into who Lou is and why she made the decisions she made. Also, the relationships between her sister and Patrick were severely underdeveloped. The audience does not get the full picture or all of the answers and that makes me sad.
Did the Book to Movie adaptation do the book justice? Yes, I believe they did a good job with the movie. As mentioned above I would have liked to see more development and explanations but it is okay, I understand that films can’t all be five hours long to give me the full picture that the book gave me. I also know that the book will always be vastly superior than any film could ever be. I enjoy watching the movies, though, because my imagination can only go so far.
If you have made it this far then I applause you. I MUST add this! The moment where they are celebrating her birthday and Patrick’s gift is so un-Lou like and then she opens Will’s gift. Oh. Em. Gee. Most perfect moment ever! She reacted brilliantly at that point. It gave me the feels and everyone in the theater laughed and probably cried a little too. Wow. What a great moment to capture on screen.
So long and thanks for all the fish!
So that is all I have for you today! I plan on writing more of these and have a couple that won’t be as congratulatory! Hope you enjoyed it!