Me Before You was one of my favorite books. The movie followed the storyline well, even using some of the same lines word-for-word and the cast was well chosen. This was one of the best movie adaptations I’ve seen in quite a while. I was bothered, though, that one major detail was completely ignored in the movie. Did this take away from the movie? No. Did it take away from the story? No. What bothers me is the reason it was removed..
Louisa is a college-age girl living at home helping to support her family when she becomes a caretaker for Will, a 20-something (super attractive) former lawyer who is a quadriplegic following an accident where he was hit by a motorcycle. Will is moody, depressed, and miserable and has lost his desire to live. This is in complete opposition to Lou, who is vivacious, upbeat, and expressive – particularly in her fashion choices. Will eventually comes around to Lou and eventually asks her about the fashion thing (she wears wildly insane outfits) as well as her desire to stay in such a small town. With some hesitation, Lou explains that she was tipsy and raped in a cornfield on a night out a few years ago. Since then, she withdrew her desire to go to college/leave her home and begins dressing in the most ‘unattractive’ items she can find.
Was this a huge part of the book? Not necessarily. It wasn’t the central point and it wasn’t discussed numerous times. It explained Lou’s ‘fashion’ outlet and why she was so unadventurous. It shows the difference between Lou and Will and how they each handled a tragic event very differently.
Most times, when a sub-plot is missing from a movie, it’s not necessarily a big deal, but this movie was so spot-on with the book that it was noticeably missing. The movie even showed the scene where Will asks Lou about it, but she brushes his questions off.
Many people felt that in such a sad book/movie, it was unnecessary, the story was tragic enough and we didn’t need to hear about a woman’s rape. But by removing that piece from the movie, are we telling girls and women that rape is something we don’t talk about? It’s an unpleasant topic and should be swept under the rug? The scene being removed from the movie didn’t necessarily take anything away from the story, but the reason why it was removed is what bothers me.
In the end, I still loved both the book and movie and absolutely suggest both.