I don’t think I have ever posted about a book twice on this blog, but I wanted to…no, I needed to in this case. Today, the trailer for the movie adaptation of Me Before You by JoJo Moyes was released. If you have not seen it yet, take the time now and follow this link to YouTube to watch it before continuing.
Caught up? Okay, I can keep going now.
When I read this book last year in August, I was floored. It is not often that I come across a novel that affects me in the way as Me Before You. I remember posting something in that particular post about books just being okay more often than not. By okay I mean I like them, but the ones that stick with me and never really go away do not come around that often. I guess it makes them all the more special when they do.
I still stand by my initial assessment of Me Before You, and if you have not read the book already I highly suggest you do. Even if you do not normally read books, I would recommend you read this one. I think it is extremely unlikely that you will walk away feeling nothing. I will not repeat my full review of the book, but if you wish to read a little bit about it, without major spoilers, head over to my post from August called Me Before You: Two People, Six Months.
There are a couple things that make me nervous about the film adaptation, which is released in June 2016. The first things is the same feeling I get with any film adaptation: Will it live up to the book? I believe I always fall on the side of the book is better. I do not expect this to change for this adaptation, but there is a difference between a good adaptation and a terrible one. However, I am comforted by two things: the trailer and the author. Yes, the trailer can lie, however it immediately sparked emotions in me. However, the fact that JoJo Moyes wrote the screenplay for this book assures me that, while some parts may be left out or condensed, the essence of the novel and story will still remain.
The second element that has me a bit nervous is how Sam Claflin is going to play Will Traynor (technically he has already, but I digress). By that I mean is Will Traynor is a quadriplegic, and in his case, he cannot move his arms or legs. Essentially, Will can only move his head. I say in his case because, from a brief search, the specific outcome can vary and you can find cases where the individual could move their arms but not their fingers. I do not know too much about that though, so do not quote me on the details.
However, Sam Claflin is obviously not a quadriplegic, and most of the roles I have seen him in have been quite athletic type roles. Here, he is extremely limited in what he will be able to do with his body to help his performance. Not that it needs help, but it is very different and very difficult, I would imagine, to portray something of this nature.
This element also has some comfort attached to it. Articles I read today have indicated that Sam did quite a lot of research regarding the disabled community in order to try to understand what they go through. Additionally, there are a couple seconds in the trailer that tell me he is very expressive with his face even without saying a single word.
Despite my nerves, I look forward to the day when I can step inside the theatre and watch what I believe will be a fantastic film. I am not nearly ready for it, nor will I be on that day, but I will be there.
And if you need another reason to read the book and watch the film:
“All I can say is that you make me… you make me into someone I couldn’t even imagine. You make me happy, even when you’re awful. I would rather be with you – even the you that you seem to think is diminished – than with anyone else in the world.”