Me Before You came out just this past weekend and it is getting lots of attention. People are saying it’s the best romance movie of the summer and many teen girls I’m sure will fall in love with it. But what is this romance movie really about? Is it really worth watching?
Will Traynor has gotten into an accident that leaves him paralyzed and wanting to end his burdensome life. Louisa “Lou” Clark, a positive and quirky girl, tries hard to make money for her family. When she gets the opportunity to care for wealthy young Will, she immediately jumps on the opportunity. She begins to show Will that there is so much in life to be happy about and beautiful ways to live it, even though his mobility has changed. She spends her energy trying to help him want to live. As time progresses they fall in love and he tries to make her happy by taking her on extravagant trips. Life seems to be looking up for both of them until **Movie Spoilers Following** Will reveals he still doesn’t want to live life in a wheelchair and decides to take his life so not to be a burden to Lou. Lou lets him do it and even holds his hand and the bottle of pills as he dies.
Instead of showing true love by helping him see he isn’t a burden and his life is precious, Lou approves of his suicide. If Lou truly loved him why would she help him die? True love would have been putting his life before her own and helping him see that being with him is more important to her than living an extravagant life without him. If she truly loved him, her actions would reflect a story titled You Before Me.
In addition to promoting Lou’s actions, the film also promotes Will’s actions as a loving sacrifice because he is giving Lou the chance to live without having him as a burden. However his choice is the complete opposite of loving; it is selfish. He isn’t killing himself because he cares about her but because he doesn’t want to deal with his own sufferings. God may have not wanted him to be paralyzed, but He wants him to embrace the opportunity to offer up the pain and use his life to help others and glorify Christ. If Will truly loved her he would want to continue to serve her and make her as happy as possible. How can he do either of those things dead? He can still serve her and make her happy even though he feels he can’t. He has already given her so much in the story by taking her around the world and it doesn’t have to all be physical things. Will might not be able to give Lou something physically, but he can give her joy, life, and love. Will can give her the most precious gift of all: his heart.
As you can see, Me Before You paints euthanasia has a heroic choice and a romantic self-sacrifice. However, how can personally ending God’s most precious gift, life, be heroic? True heroism is being strong enough to live through life’s challenges and struggles with joy in your heart and a prayer on your lips. We call our soldiers, who have the strength to fight through the challenges of war for you and I, heroes. Mother Teresa who spent each day giving her strength to serve the poor is a hero. The disabled who show us the beauty and joy of life no matter what the circumstances are heroes. Every person, disabled or not, is important. Why then is euthanizing the disabled lifted up in this film (and elsewhere)? Having a disability does not lessen a person’s value. It can strengthen the will, build up character, and give a person the opportunity to embrace the beautiful life they are given in a whole new way.
A quote from Me Before You says, “You only get one life. It is actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.” What about the importance of Will’s life? How can he live his life to the full if he takes it? If he doesn’t want to be a burden to her why not just break up? If Will truly loved her why would he try to get her to help end his life? If Lou truly loved Will why would she aid in his death?
Love and life go hand in hand. You can’t love if you don’t have life and you can’t live fully without God’s love for you and and that love shown through you to others. Sadly this movie doesn’t uphold this. Instead it makes the audience feel as if the disabled would be happier dead and should be euthanized. Every life is worth living, whether you’re tall or short, blonde or brunette, disabled or not, boy or girl. God has given us a gift and greatly desires us to respect and treasure it. It would hurt if you gave someone a present and they decided to destroy it wouldn’t it? Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present. Don’t abuse your gift. Don’t abuse others’ gift. Lift them up and show them their life is precious and worth living. When you do that then you can call it true love.
So you might be disappointed that this isn’t a good movie to watch. I agree. It’s sad that many modern movies have become shallow and immoral. It may be hard, but I encourage to not go watch this movie just because its popular and everyone else is. It is not worth your time and emotions. There are so many other good movies and books out there with true romance stories that greatly outshine Me Before You. Or better yet, start a love story in your own life to which nothing could compare! Be strong and put Christ as your first love and “when you make Jesus your first love, you will be ready for a love story that reflects His glory.”
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