Emilia Clarke ventures beyond Westeros for another silver-screen venture in “Me Before You,” but Khaleesi’s latest film isn’t garnering much more favorable reviews than last summer’s “Terminator: Genisys.” The first round of reactions could be generously described as mixed, with most critics not taking especially well to Thea Sharrock’s tearjerker.
“Imagine ‘The Intouchables’ with more romance and less chemistry, crossbred with a far tamer version of ‘Pretty Woman’ so lacking in eroticism that its PG-13 rating seems unduly harsh,” begins Variety’s Andrew Barker, “and you’re halfway toward picturing Thea Sharrock’s ‘Me Before You.'” He goes on to call the film a “melodrama with soft-rock ballads where its beating heart should be.”
Sheri Linden is similarly unimpressed, writing in The Hollywood Reporter that “far too much of this high-gloss tearjerker proceeds as a by-the-numbers romantic fantasy, nudging the viewer every step of the way.” Though teens and viewers who haven’t seen this type of story play out onscreen time and again will be most won over by “Me Before You,” she continues, “all-ages fans of the book and of cryfests like ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ (whose screenwriters had at one point been tapped for the adaptation) will be eagerly getting out their handkerchiefs.”
“There’s nothing like a good tear-jerker — and ‘Me Before You’ is nothing like a good tear-jerker.” That’s the first line of Alonso Duralde‘s cutting review for The Wrap, which also calls this adaptation of Jojo Moyes’ best-selling novel “the kind of movie that can’t even get its shameless audience-pandering in order.”
“Resistance to this delirious romantic tragedy is futile,” writes Charles Gant of Screen International in a more positive take, “save for that nagging voice in our head wondering if it really has to be this way.” Chris Nashawaty feels similarly, writing in Entertainment Weekly that “It may not quite rise to the level of a classic three-hankie tearjerker, but it’s proof that sometimes one or two hankies is more than enough to get the job done.
Watch the film’s trailer: