Me Before You: How the Movie Changed the Story
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes was a definite literary hit. Not only did it become a New York Times bestseller, but it had the privilege of being adapted into movie form. Many fans couldn’t wait for there beloved couple to hit the big screens, but were shortly after quite upset by the movie’s rendition. The movie definitely left out some critical details that were important to the plot and the characters development, but how exactly did they change the story?
Louisa’s Sexual Assault Subplot is Forgotten
Throughout the book, Louisa’s sexual assault is frequently mentioned and definitely explains a lot of things about her character. Without the rape scene in the maze, we don’t know why Louisa dresses in such an unusual fashion, or why she’s so reserved towards men. It also helps us understand her relationship with Will because she eventually tells him about her assault, when she hasn’t even told her own parents or longterm boyfriend. The movie chose to just have this subplot removed entirely, leaving a lot of questions unanswered.
Will Traynor’s Family Life is Changed Drasticly
I’m sure we’re all aware that cinematically there definitely isn’t as much time to explain everything that happens with characters as the novel does, but the movie chose to reveal very little about the Traynor family. The movie chooses to ignore the fact that Will’s father is having an open affair that practically the entire town knows about. The book even mentions their inevitable divorce that will arise after Will’s death. They even depict Mr. and Mrs. Traynors relationship as normal. That is completely different than the family dynamic that was created by the book. The movie also deleted an essential character, Will’s sister. It was his sisters angry outburst that actually informed Louisa that Will was planning to kill himself, and she also appeared a few other times throughout the story. Without explaining Will’s family life you can never fully understand how he grew to have the personality that he did.
Louisa and Her Sister’s Relationship Changed
In the movie, Louisa and her sister were depicted as normal, loving sisters. Sadly, in the novel that was not the case. Treena, Louisa’s sister, was actually quite mean and selfish. She was constantly calling Louisa stupid and felt that she was more entitled because she had attended a University, while Louisa had not. Several times the reader found themselves hating Treena, where the movie had you loving her. There were a few caring moments between the two, but they definitely did not have the great relationship the movie gave them. This isn’t a super significant part of the book, but it was still critical for understanding Louisa’s demeanor.
Louisa and Patrick’s Relationship is Different
In the movie, Patrick really isn’t as big of a character as he is in the book. In the novel, their break up is a much more serious ordeal. Not only have they moved in together (an effect of Patrick’s jealousy of Will) but their entire break up scene is much more serious, and personal. The movie also doesn’t mention that since she now has to move out of Patrick’s apartment, she moves into the Annex with Will. Louisa’s and Patricks relationship crumbling was the very thing that helped further her and Will’s relationship, so it is a pretty important factor.
Patrick’s Betrayal is left Unmentioned
In the book, Louisa confides in Patrick before the break-up and says that Will plans to commit suicide. Shortly after their breakup, Patrick sells the story to the press knowing it would be a big deal due to the Traynor family’s status. That not only causes great embarrassment and stress for Will’s parents, but it also hurts Louisa’s future as well. The movie doesn’t add this topic in at all, so we never really see Patrick’s true character. The movie actually occasionally led you to feel sympathetic for Patrick’s character, which probably would not have happened if his betrayal had been included on screen. The book never once wanted you to feel any sympathy for Patrick, and the movie allowing that distracted you from Louisa and her conflicts.
Louisa’s Determination Is Downgraded
In the book, you could find Louisa searching frantically for places to take Will, actively on chat rooms with other paraplegic loved ones and survivors, and doing everything she could to try and save Will’s life. In the movie, she gave up a lot easier than the book allowed her too. She tried yes, but she tried so much harder in the book. She thought of it as her job to save Will’s life, and she was not going to take no for an answer. Without all that determination, it was hard to understand why Louisa was so hurt by her efforts not being enough in the end.
Details of Louisa and Will’s Relationship are Erased
There were plenty of romantic moments in the novel that did not quite make the cut for the movie. It leaves out the wonderful experience of them getting impromptu tattoos with one another. That is a critical turning point in the storyline that shows how close they are becoming, but the movie chose not to include it. In the movie, the characters also never said I love you, but in the book Louisa is quite adamant about her love for Will. Without the mention of their actual love, it leaves you wondering how much depth there really was to their relationship. The movie really couldn’t spend as much time developing their love, so they really should have put in valid proof to assure the audience that it was actually there.
Why the Movie Made These Decisions
How is it decided what details will make it to the big screen and which ones remain unheard on the pages? That is a question that is never fully answered. Perhaps there simply was not enough time allotted in the film to really dive into all of this extra information, no matter the amount of value it would have added to the characters. Quite possibly they felt that all of these additional topics would distract from the the main storyline, which was Will and Louisa’s love. If they took the time to include subplots like Louisa’s assault or the complexities of family life, then maybe that would direct the viewers focus in a direction they did not want to go. There were so many small details that if the movie had introduced them, they probably wouldn’t of had time to conclude them.
Even Still, Both Were Moving Stories
Yes, the movie may have left out some important details, but what movie doesn’t? There most certainly is not enough time in movies to include every little detail authors offer us in print. If so, we would be sitting there for days! The movie still kept pretty accurately to the storyline and kept the ending the same, which was incredibly important to a lot of people. Each version may have their differences but the love is felt in both stories. Me Before You is a remarkable love story that can be appreciated no matter the format.
What do you think? Leave a comment.