I have been asked by several people what my opinion is of the movie, “Me Before You”, so I decided to write a blog about it. If you haven’t seen the movie and would like to watch it some time then here is your heads up spoiler alert. You may want to stop reading now and read it later after you’ve watched it, but for those of you that don’t care or have seen it continue on.
This movie is about a love story between a man named Will, who becomes paralyzed from the neck down from a motorcycle accident, and his caregiver, Louisa. Will longs for his life before his accident and has decided he wants to go to Switzerland, where it’s legal to have an assisted suicide, and end his life because he doesn’t want to live this way. He is convinced to wait six months before doing so, during which he meets Louisa, his able-bodied caregiver.
Louisa tries to convince Will over the corse of those six months that life is still worth living despite his disability. They fall in love, and go on several adventures together, but Will decides to go through with the assisted suicide anyway and leaves Louisa a bunch of money so she can “live boldly” without his disability holding her back.
My first thought on this movie is well, it’s definitely titled correctly with “Me Before You”. Will presumed that he would hold Louisa back by his disability and didn’t want to burden her, so was only thinking about himself and not what she really wanted. Hence the title me before you. Second it is so sad to me that anyone would think that life being paralyzed is not worth living. He was so focused on what he can’t do instead of focused on what he can do to the point that no longer being here was his solution.
My accident was in 1992 and this, September 5th, I have been dealing with living life paralyzed for 27 years. I can honestly say I have never once thought this life so is unbearable that I wanted to take my own life. Sure, there are challenges, but you figure them out as they come and you keep going. It all lies on what you choose to focus on.I choose to focus on what I can do.
The third thing that really stands out about this movie is it just makes me mad honestly. I couldn’t understand why or how they would come to such a conclusion to end it this way so I did some googling to find out why. The movie was actually based on a novel of the same name written by an able-bodied British author, Jojo Moyes.
I watched a video on the “Stylist” website with an interview with Jojo Moyes about how she came to write, “Me Before You”, She explains in the interview that the story was inspired by her own experience of having family who required 24-hour care, as well as a real-life news story about a quadriplegic man she read about who persuaded his parents to take him to a center for assisted suicide.
She did find it shocking it first, but the more she read into it she realized that it was an extraordinary situation just about one character, but also one that was hard to judge unless people got into his head and could be in his shoes.
I do appreciate the fact that she is saying that this is one persons story based on who they were and not meant to suggest this is how the entire quadriplegic community feels. I have encountered this mindset with a few injured people myself, especially males, but not any that actuality followed through with it that I know of.
However, being a person that IS in his shoes that can say from a perspective of truly knowing what he lived with every day that life for me is most definitely worth living for. I do believe that my strength to endure is for God’s glory and I can only hope it inspires others to press on beyond their circumstances and fight for the best life they can have as well.
As for the movie, I personally love a beautiful love story with a happy ending that will transcend through out time. So, I would change the title to, You Before Me, and Will would discover his love for Louisa and their adventures together really do make life worth living and they roll off into the sunset happily together… But then hey, that’s an entirely different movie, right!
***Suicide is very real and prevalent problem that is not to be taken lightly. If anyone is having suicidal thoughts or you know someone that is suicidal please seek help immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255