Me Before You Review

Took me awhile to write this review because I’m a lazy slug. If Me Before You is still playing when I post this, great! If not, consider this a review of the forthcoming DVD/Internet download.

Me Before You

Me Before You is the first romance of the summer, at least that’s what I thought before going to the theater.

It turns out that the romance portrayed in the trailers is only a small part of the movie. The real conflict is assisted suicide.

Our main character is Louisa Clark, played by Emilia Clarke, who is let go from her waitressing job and must find something else to help support her poor family.

Louisa finds work at the wealthy Traynor estate taking care of the Traynor’s adult quadriplegic son, Will.

Will was once an investment banker with lots of wealthy friends, a hot girlfriend, and a thirst for adrenaline-pumping activities like skiing, skydiving, and parasailing.

Will becomes a quadriplegic when a motorcycle hits him while he was jaywalking and talking on his cell phone.

Two years later Will is able to talk and move his fingers a little but that’s it. His friends have abandoned him. He lives in constant pain due to the complications of his condition. He is routinely hospitalized with life threatening pneumonia. All of this leads Will to the decision to undergo assisted suicide.

Will’s mother is against this for obvious reasons. Will agrees to give her six months to convince him otherwise and if she can’t, to say her goodbyes.

Enter Louisa! Will’s mother hires her not to take care of Will, he already has a nurse for that, but to cheer him up and show him that life is worth living.

Louisa develops a friendship with Will that grows into love.

The movie is unfortunately lacking in a lot of the things that make a good romance though.

First of all, romances are often framed as a choice between the audience’s favorite and the “wrong person.”

Louisa’s choice of Will over her old boyfriend is practically ignored. Will is just so clearly better except for the disability that its no contest.

Will’s choice is a little harder to turn into a romance. Will can be in a relationship with Louisa or he can commit suicide. How romantic…

The romance is also lacking in physical passion (obviously). There is no consummation of their love beyond a kiss. It’s simply not possible for Will to go further.

The movie was, however, a good drama and dealt with suicide in a realistic way.

People commit suicide for a number of reasons, but I believe the unifying reason is that they’d rather be dead than be in their current situation, whether that’s feeling sad, or empty, or terrified, or, in Will’s case, trapped.

Will explains that he wants to end his life because he cannot bring himself to change who he is.

He is Will the Investor! Will the Skydiver! Will the Snowboarder! Will the Daredevil!

If he can’t be those things, then he’s nothing.

Louisa and Will’s family hope that Will can change his perception of himself. Maybe he can be Will the Dictation Writer, or Will the Quadriplegic Advocate, or even return to being Will the Investor.

And ultimately Will decides…

HAHA! Just kidding, I’m not going to spoil the ending for you.

Having some personal experience with the topics explored in Me Before You I think its fair to say that it accurately portrays why someone would consider suicide and how that open decision could affect that person’s loved ones.

If you’re looking for such a cathartic exploration of this topic or just want to see Emilia Clarke waggle her eyebrows around like a crazy Chinese lunchlady, then this is the movie for you. If not… I’d recommend skipping Me Before You. It is many good things, but it is not a romance as the trailer might have you believe.

-GoCorral

First Day of Graduate School

Woo! Yesterday I had my first day of graduate school and it was amazing!

For awhile I’d been worried that I wouldn’t like going back to school once the semester started. All of those worries went away once I stepped out of my car onto campus.

I unfortunately arrived late to my first class. I live in Davis and driving to Sacramento has never taken this long in the past.

I thought I’d budgeted enough for rush hour traffic. I guessed the time accurately except for the time to leave the freeway.

Everyone and their mother wanted to get off the freeway at the Howe Ave exit right by Sacramento State.

Next time I go in the morning I’ll get off at an earlier exit and dodge all that traffic. Hopefully that will get me to school with time to spare.

Anyways! I got approved to be a TA in a lab course which meets Tuesday mornings. This semester I’m in training, but in the future I’ll be paid.

The lab class is a GE fulfilling course, so its filled with students who are not biology majors.

The course is also taught by my graduate adviser, which is a huge plus. We’ll get to know more about each through teaching together which will help a lot later in the graduate school process.

I assisted the students with a simple discussion lab which tried to define what life is.

After the discussion each student took a sterile swabbed and rubbed it on something before rubbing it on a petri dish. Whatever they rubbed onto it will grow over the week and we can take a look at it next Tuesday.

When the lab finished I walked around campus. I found the bookstore, the activities fair (no I don’t want to join a fraternity), the student union, and the library. I at my lunch on the quad and then went to read in the library til my next class.

I have two other classes on Tuesday. The first was about how to be a better TA. I met the other students and the teacher told us a little bit about herself, her teaching style, and some resources we could use to improve ourselves as teachers.

My last class, Molecular Biology, was in the same room as the class on how to be a TA. I was surprised when the teacher walked in because I recognized him!

The teacher for my Molecular Biology class is also the post-doc who works in the same worm lab as me at Davis!

It was a pretty cool coincidence. Apparently he had already known for awhile, but hadn’t told me yet.

I was unfortunately the only person who consistently raised my hand to answer questions in his class. I’m hoping that will change in the future. Maybe everyone else was just shy because they hadn’t met the instructor yet.

At the end of the day the instructor and I discussed carpooling together.

Turns out that won’t work because he lives in Sacramento and I live in Davis. At the end of the day we want to be in different places.

Altogether it was a great day. I loved being back on campus as a student and as a teacher. I love learning and helping other people learn. I’m looking forward to the next two or three years at Sac State!

-Mister Ed