You’ve got to hand it to the people who made “Me Before You,” a four-hankie movie about a gawky working-class caregiver and the glamorous and wealthy quadriplegic she tends to. Every tear is jerked right on cue. Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones”) is Louisa “Lou” Clark, who dresses up in florid outfits that appear to be culled from tag sales, and dashing Will Traynor is played by the almost cartoonishly handsome Sam Claflin (“The Hunger Games”). These polar opposites become the be-all in each other’s lives. Of course.
Adapted by Jojo Moyes from her bestseller, and directed by Thea Sharrock, a theater director making her movie debut, “Me Before You” is the kind of weepie that signals its every move a mile away. Its utter predictability is entirely intentional. We are meant to bask in all the usual romance-novel tropes. Any surprise – any artistry – would just get in the way. But did Clarke have to play Lou as such an overbearing smileypuss?
The only real acting in this movie comes from Janet McTeer and Charles Dance as Will’s aggrieved parents. They bring some ballast to this blubberfest. Grade: C (Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some suggestive material.)