I have to preface this review with the mention that after showing the first half of this trailer to my bestfriend Shannon, she ran out of the room, declaring that if it ends badly she will not see it. She added something along the lines of “I can’t even.”
Usually, with these kinds of films, I can’t even either. At first glance it’s a trite, over-worked cliché of a film, but the trailer does an admirable job of showing these characters as more than just paper dolls, unlike the characters in other sappy, overwrought melodramas.
Emilia Clarke’s character embodies the pixie-dream girl, but as overdone as that archetype is, I actually want to excuse it for the mere fact this character is the exact opposite of Daenerys Targaryen. (And I feel I should mention that my word processor had to instruct me on the proper spelling of her name. My word processor, who often gets common words wrong, knows the proper spelling of Game of Thrones characters. My word processor is a bigger nerd than I am.)
Dany is a fine character, and all, but this character (Louisa Clark) actually grins! Actually laughs! Doesn’t look at the other characters with murder in her eyes. I may be slightly afraid of (and turned on by) Dany.
Meanwhile, Sam Claflin and his acrobatic eyebrow are at it again. He played Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games series, my favorite character, so I am terribly biased. But what’s more, he looks like if Hugh Grant and Jamie Dornan had a baby that far surpassed its parents’ looks. He is beautiful with or without facial hair, in jeans or in a tux, paralyzed or very much physically healthy…oops, I just drooled on my keyboard.
Anyhow, while this trailer does give far too much away for my taste (come on…the hospital scene? Couldn’t we just assume?), I think it gives a good sense of the characters we can look forward to learning about. I’m sure there will very few surprises, but the plain fact is that of all the romances Hollywood pumps out, at least this one has characters I want to identify with.
This trailer makes me not only want to see the movie, but read the book as well.
Update: My editor just marched me back to my desk and told me I needed to write a more thorough review than simply lusting after the two lead actors.
I think the added bestfriend element helps cut the pixie-dream girl stereotype a little. So many of those types of characters are lost little lambs, but the fact that Clarke’s version has a close friend makes her more real, less of a male fantasy. And the trailer uses the friend (Jenna Coleman, fyi) to flesh out some of the humor and realism of the film.
The idea of a young woman who has everything ahead of her but then chooses to connect herself with a paralyzed man, on the surface, is sentimental rubbish, if you are cynical. But plenty of people in the world stick by the people they love, through better or worse. Even if they don’t actually say those words in their vows. This trailer pairs silliness with romance with sorrow, just like life does. The editor chose scenes that show off these characters at their best. When Clarke pulls the aforementioned bumblebee tights out of a present, the sheer joy on her face makes me yearn to already be watching the film.
I’ve seen this story before.
Maybe not these exact details, but there are plenty of films where romance is mixed with tragedy. It’s an old, well-used tale. Love Story, The Theory of Everything, If You Could See What I Hear, Mask, A Walk to Remember…it’s a tried and true trope.
However, this trailer presents a familiar story in a new frame. With fun new characters to enjoy. Young actors to admire. It should make for a fun, albeit sad, experience.