Parents' Guide to

Me Before You

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Touching but manipulative romantic drama about life, death.

Movie PG-13 2016 110 minutes
Me Before You Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 19 parent reviews

age 14+

A missed opportunity to send a positive message instead of a horrible one

Spoiler alert! In my opinion, the movie could have been a wonderful opportunity for sending a message of hope and love against the difficulties of life. But it has not been so. Nowadays we are living in a freedom era where every choice, whether going on struggling in a wheelchair or not, is personal and subjective. Even the hard choice to put an end to our own life cannot be judged but can only be accepted. In this freedom, the choice to live or not is the ultimate border between fight and give up. The message that arises from the movie is that a life in a wheelchair is not a worthwhile life. This is definitely not true. Life in a wheelchair is indeed more difficult than the normal one and disabled people can find happiness anyway. Think at some examples in real life. My favourite is Alex Zanardi. He won when he was a driver and he won even after having lost his legs. Listen to him talking is really enlightening. Outside, in the real world, there are a lot of these 4wheels-heroes. Maybe some of them have thought about suicide, but I think that the greater part of them decided to fight against the world to reach their dreams. Coming back to the movie, there is an off-key point: when love arrives, so nice and so pure, you really believe it will adjust everything. Then, at the end, you will find that the title is perfect. But I think that real love is not selfish. Real love is not "me before you" but is "you before me" and it is effective only if we think in this way togheter. Ending the movie with a different message could have been an opportunity to send a positive message about the strength of love that can help you coming out from a strong and difficult situations. With real love near you, even facing the daily hard reality can give you wings to reach your dreams.
2 people found this helpful.
age 13+

Touching but Problematic

While Lou and Will's love story is touching and sweet, and made a helpless romance-lover like me cry on more than one occasion, the story also implies that life is not worth living if one is disabled, and promotes suicide as something selfless rather than awful. I have had experiences with suicide, and it is not anything of the kind, I can assure you. It was all-in-all a lovely movie and a nice way to spend time, but I'm not the biggest fan of some of the messages it displays.
2 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (19):
Kids say (44):

This movie treads a tricky line, both infuriating and charming viewers. The charm can be chalked up to star Clarke; she makes Lou the type of beguiling creature we've seen in films before who's often known as a "manic pixie dream girl" -- quirky, irreverent, and usually irresistible. Which is also where the infuriation comes in: The MPDG usually serves the function of making a male protagonist feel lightened and leavened, without experiencing much development herself. (All we really know about Lou in the movie is that she's cheery, optimistic, and kind; wears wacky clothing; and dreams of being in fashion in some vague way -- she was more fully developed, tragic back story and all, in the book.)

And then there's the fact that Me Before You feels somewhat manipulative, with its BIG. SAD. FEELINGS. No melancholy moment is left unaccompanied by too-on-the-nose music, no delicate interaction between Lou and Will is spared a close-up. There's also a feeling of condescension toward the have-nots and the disabled. Will is portrayed as fundamentally dissatisfied with a life that -- even though family money affords him comfort and and round-the-clock care -- apparently just isn't good enough because he misses his old life, one that Lou herself (and, by extension, the film) has characterized as shallow. But perhaps most upsetting of all is how, despite all of this, Me Before You works on a certain level. You'll likely cry (in between eye-rolls) and be moved and root for the couple, for Lou, and for the idea of hope and renewed joy.

Movie Details

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