If you don't leave Me Before You with red eyes and a sniffling nose, then either you hate crying in public, or you weren't paying attention during the movie. Based on the novel by Jojo Moyes, who also wrote the script, the movie is a rare, tear-inducing romantic comedy starring young stars Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games). Me Before You tells the heartbreaking love story of Will and Lou, a couple brought together when Lou is hired to be a daytime companion for Will, who was recently paralyzed from the neck down. Following the rom-com playbook, when they meet Will is bitter and resentful, but eventually Lou's sunny personality and cheerful demeanor wear him down. Needless to say, this is one rom-com that isn't all laughs and happy endings, but will Me Before You make you cry? Let's just say that you might want to bring some tissues with you to the movie theater.
What, you might ask, makes this romance inspire tears? In a somewhat controversial move, a major plot point in the film, aside from Will's deteriorating health, is Will's depression and contemplation of assisted suicide. He lives in constant pain, aided only slightly by pain killers and hospital visits — not exactly the fairytale one might imagine from a Hollywood love story. Without spoiling the film, yes, you will cry, and, yes, you will feel all the emotions, just ask Claflin. "I think playing Will was undoubtedly probably the most challenging thing I've ever done in my life. I honestly was an emotional wreck pretty much the entirety of the film," Claflin told Entertainment Weekly .
That said, despite all the tragedy — and all the tears — Me Before You is truly a romantic comedy, filled with just as many laugh-inducing moments as sob-inducing ones. It's hard to really pin the movie down as a rom-com or a tragic romance when it's really more of an amalgam of the two. In fact, the movie is probably best described as a mixture of classic romantic movies of the past. Here's the Me Before You recipe, tears and all.
1 Part Pretty Woman
Will introduces Lou to new opportunities and encourages her to strive for more out of life than what she has, similar to how Edward treated Vivian in the working girl fantasy, Pretty Woman.
1 Parts Pretty In Pink
Like Pretty in Pink's Andie, Lou is a wannabe fashion designer who expresses herself through her clothes. She's fearless in fashion, but also afraid of leaving her comfort zone, just like Andie.
2 Parts 13 Going On 30
Lou's infections joy and how it slowly spreads to Will is very similar to Jenna Rink's story in 13 Going on 30. (See, it's not all tears!)
4 Parts A Walk To Remember
Me Before You is probably the saddest mainstream romance movie Hollywood has seen in a while. For Nicholas Sparks lovers, it will be impossible not to compare the sadness you feel during Me Before You to the heartbreak in A Walk To Remember.
Me Before You is about equal parts fun and heartbreaking. It's far from a constant sobfest, but I'd be lying if I said you wouldn't need those tissues.