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Me Before You: A Romantically Warped Message

By: Kristen Clark

Once upon a time there lived a handsome young man who wasn’t too excited about life. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a beautiful young woman drops into his life and changes everything.

He laughs again like he used to and she slowly captures his heart. They fall in love and live happily ever after! The end.

Oh wait – wrong ending.

They fall in love, and then he decides to commit suicide because his life isn’t worth living. The end.

Say hello to a modern romance.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m referring to the new horror-film-disguised-as-a romantic-chick-flick, “Me Before You.”

In this new blockbuster hit, a young man who is paralyzed from the neck down decides that his life isn’t worth living. However, his new beautiful young female caretaker wins his heart and helps bring some joy back into his life. They fall in love and could have lived happily ever after.

But they didn’t.

To “spare” this young woman from having to marry a crippled man, he makes the “heroic” decision to end his life (via physician assisted suicide).

As the credits roll, the audience applauds this brave hero who selflessly sacrificed his life for his lover.

Oh wait…or did he?

Here at GirlDefined Ministries, we don’t often write “movie reviews” on specific films, but this movie could not be overlooked. With thousands of Christian girls flocking to this new hit, we just couldn’t keep our mouths shut.

When euthanasia (physician assisted suicide) is glamorized as heroism, we’re going to speak up.

As the buzz surrounding “Me Before You” grows stronger, I want to encourage you to think clearly about this new movie. It is nothing more than a strategic film designed to subtly normalize something that is terribly, terribly wrong.

Self-murder is wrong on every front and goes against every part of God’s plan and purpose for our lives. It is not heroic in the least. It is nothing more than humans deciding to play God. It is a self-centered and prideful choice.

As this warped romantic film gains popular acceptance, I urge you stay in tune with God’s truth.

Don’t allow this alluring and glamorized movie to warp your view of true (biblical) love and the value of every life (even a crippled’s).

Here are 6 essential truths to keep in mind:

1. Life is a gift from God.

We don’t exist because we chose to exist. We exist because the God of the universe chose to bring us into this world (Colossians 1:16). Life is a gift from God and we are recipients of that gift. As the “creation” we have no authority of our own to determine the day our life begins, or the day our life should end. That is God’s jurisdiction alone, and we should humbly accept His timing for the length of our life.

2. Happiness is not the goal of life.

Sadly, the American dream is centered around each person finding total “happiness” in life. We’re encouraged to pursue whatever we think will make us happy. Money? Sure. Success? Sure. Suicide? Sure. When personal happiness becomes our life goal, we will do whatever we think necessary to accomplish that goal…even committing suicide.

That is exactly what happened in Me Before You.

However, God’s word makes it so clear that happiness shouldn’t be our goal, but pursuing a life devoted to serving Christ should be our goal (Colossians 3:23-24). That is the only place where true and lasting joy are found (Psalm 16:11).

3. Circumstances don’t dictate our joy.

Circumstances can be really, really tough sometimes. Life is just plain hard! I can’t imagine how extremely difficult my life would be if I were crippled from the neck down. However, as hard and challenging as any circumstance may be, it doesn’t have to determine a person’s joy.

Yes – circumstances can make life really, really tough, but they only have as much power over our joy as we allow them to. Even crippled people can find joy, purpose, and satisfaction in life (i.e. Joni Eareckson Tada). The choice is ours.

4. Apart from God there is no hope.

This new movie is the perfect (and sad) example of what life is like without God. The young man in Me Before You did not profess to know Christ or have a personal relationship with Him. Without God, he was left with nothing but a crippled body and no greater purpose for living.

When a person doesn’t have true hope in Christ, they will be driven to despair. And that is exactly what happened in this movie. Suicide is the natural outcome of a person experiencing total and complete hopelessness.

5. Suicide is the epitome of self-centeredness and pride.

As romantic and heroic as this movie paints physician assisted suicide, it is nothing short of selfishness and pride to the max. A person who commits suicide is pridefully saying, “I know better for my life than God knows for me. I will choose when my life should end, and I don’t care what God thinks!” It is extremely self-centered because it is committed as an escape from life and from accountability to the living God.

6. Murder is a sin.

Period. Suicide is self-murder and that is a blatant and rebellious act against the Creator (Exodus 20:13).

No matter how you slice Me Before You, it’s a movie with a strong (but subtle) agenda to normalize something that is terribly wrong.

Not to mention it’s filled with profanity, mocking God’s name, sexual innuendoes, and promiscuous comments.

I pray that we, as Christian girls, stand strong against this cultural flow. I pray we speak truth against this warped, heroic message. I pray we humbly share the hope filled solution that Christ offers to anyone considering euthanasia as a “healthy” option.

Let’s discuss this below.

  • What is your reaction to a movie like Me Before You?
  • Why do you think euthanasia is being portrayed as something “normal” and healthy?

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32 Responses to Me Before You: A Romantically Warped Message

  1. Mary says:

    WOW!!! What a horrible story line! That is exactly what the devil is doing, making evil, “Good” Its put into almost everything these days! This is why I have made a decision to honor God by not allowing movies, television or Hollywood of any sort into my life!!!

  2. thehappygirl says:

    Wow that’s awful!! I haven’t heard of that movie, but am glad for the warning. It also reminds me how the devil approaches us many times… Like this movie, temptation is disguised as something romantic, selfless, heroic, etc. We have to be sooooo careful what we allow into our minds.

  3. Bia Baraldi says:

    Thanks for the post! I read the book but I can’t created a clear idea like you did. Now I understood better to have a opinion about this.

  4. Isabel Arnold says:

    What an awful story! I didn’t know the plot, but when seeing the trailers even the title was a red flag. In a real, Christ centered relationship, it should be “you before me”.

  5. Bethany says:

    I didn’t read the book or see the movie nor do I really want to and I completely agree with you what he did was wrong (there are a lot of wrong things they do). But I do want to point out one thing they do say that I agree with one of the characters says to the girl “you can’t change people, you can only love them” which I totally agree with that. Through my ears I heard it as “you can’t change anyone, only the holy spirit and God cam change people, but you can still be there for them when they have questions, advice, etc.”

  6. Clara says:

    WOW! I saw the trailer for this in the theatres, and don’t remember them showing the title! It didn’t show any suicide or anything leading up to that! It looked like a really interesting and sweet movie about a young woman who finds her new caretaking job to be a young crippled man whom she begins to fall in love with. Thanks for letting us know!

  7. Anne says:

    I saw the trailer, and thought it looked like a sweet movie. Some friends and I were talking about seeing it. Then I heard about the suicide plot thing, and I was so disappointed! I definitely do not plan on seeing it now!

  8. Kinsley Willman says:

    During the months of the movie coming out to theaters, I had the movie title written down to remind me it was coming out. I was Sooo excited to see it b/c it truly looked like a great movie. I’ve been so busy this summer that my younger sister beat me to the theaters to watch it. And the result? She came home sobbing telling me it was an awful ending and to never ever see it. I wasn’t even sure what she meant b/c she left some mighty details out. But after she calmed down she told me about the assisted suicide. What a way to pull a rotten twist to what seemed like a great movie. I love this article Girl Defined has written. I do not plan on seeing what I once thought was going to be an amazing movie. Thank you for all of your amazing articles and good reads!

  9. Morgan says:

    I was at first interested because of the cast, but then I found out how it ended. It sounds horrible and wrong. Plus then a friend read the book and gave content warnings in her review. The book is very popular at the library where I work. I flipped through it once while taking it back to the holds crate to send it to another branch, but I won’t be reading it or seeing the movie.

  10. Rebekah says:

    I only saw 2 commercials. I had no idea that it ended that way! How horrible!!!! I thought it was a movie about loving selflessly, boy was I wrong. I will defiantly not be seeing that and will pass it on to others. Thank you girls. It’s terrible how our culture is so good at normalizing things through movies, books, and music, whether it’s the normalization of drugs, immodesty, cohabitation,abortion, murder, and now suicide. I know this breaks God’s heart and we need to stand up against the flow. Thank you Kristen for being bold and speaking the truth. I can not tell you had sad this makes me.

  11. Leah Good says:

    I’ve seen a couple of posts like this and agree entirely. When a freiend recently told me the ending of the movie, I felt sick to my stomach. A few months ago, I met Joni Ericksen Tada, a living testimony of how the life of a quadriplegic, though. It easy, can not only be worth living but a life that helps others. I sponsor several special needs children in India and my heart aches to think of them and precious others like them receiving the message that ending their lives could be in any way positive. Stories are powerful. As a fiction author, I’m keenly aware of that. This story has the potential to be powerful in a lot pf bad ways. 🙁

  12. Sabrina Johns says:

    Thank you so much for sharing that! I originally wanted to watch the movie but when I learned the ending I was kind of iffy about it. Your blog is what God used to help me make up my mind. I definitely don’t want to watch it anymore. Than you so much for the warning! And thank you Lord for guiding our hearts! :)))))

  13. Abby Streu says:

    I don’t think the point of the movie was to glamorize euthanasia. It’s not saying that assisted suicide is good, and most the characters in the book are absolutely appalled with the character (Will)’s decision. I’m not saying that theme makes it better, but I just want to clarify that there is no sense of heroism in the book over that character’s choice. It was to emphasize his struggles and problems with his paralysis. And you’re kind of being contradictory when you first highlight out a traditional romance including a “happily ever after” but then go on to say that life isn’t about being happy. Suicide wasn’t going to make him happy, but rather be put out of misery. I don’t agree with that theme, regardless, and by no means do I support suicide. It isn’t trying to normalize euthanasia. Again, the only character in support of that character’s decision was that exact decision. The book was a political statement on that, and that is why there was no God in it. Yes, it had romantic themes, but not as many as you would think. It only got romantic at the end. The sequel even shows the female protagonist questioning if she was really in love with Will. Romance wasn’t a major part of it, regardless of how the public and hollywood are interpreting it. Christians either claim that politics and Christ should not mingle or that they should be intertwined. However, this movie does not have Christian themes because it was not made by Christians. If you cannot keep your worldly experiences and God separate from each other, I agree one should not read this book or see this movie. However, this movie does not include the characteristics you describe about because it was not made to cater to God. It was a good piece of literature. It was written well, and made one think, which isn’t the worst thing in the world. I believe in God and his Word, but He also gave me a brain to look at the world and question everything. Blind faith is amazing, but mindless faith isn’t faith at all.

  14. Taylor Korin says:

    Wow. Thank you for sharing this. We were going to go see this movie today and after reading this we will no longer be going. That is absolutely horrible. I didn’t know there were so many unGodly messages in there. This post is so well thought and written.

  15. Jacqui says:

    My first initial reaction to the movie trailer was excitement. I thought it was a movie about a young disabled man and a houng woman who fall in love, they’re overcoming his disabilities, selflessness, and learning how to love unconditionally. After the trailer had finished (with it’s hints at someome being in the hospital) I just figured that there was a terrible accident, not someone choosing to end their life.
    After I looked into the movie and researched it, I discovered that my ideal of the movie was not the case at all. Instead of a movie about overcoming, selflessness, and unconditional love, we’ll be seeing a movie based on selfishness. The very name of the movie says so itself. ‘Me before you.’ Selfish.

    As for the second question I wholeheartedly agree that they’re trying to make euthanasia normal and an acceptable thing. Hollywood has this idea that if they put enough subliminal messages in a movie, we’ll start to agree with them. I don’t want to be a left wing weirdo, but they’ve done the same with homosexuality. Underlying themes and stuble tones have seen it progress through the past 30, 40 years of films. Look at how many Christians now battle with the homosexuality problem.

    We need to be careful and guard our hearts above all else when it comes to films and books such as these.

  16. Elisabeth says:

    The first time I even heard of this was in an email about how awful it was,and so I totally agree!!Thanks for the post!!Ps..I don’t usually watch modern movies because of all the yucky stuff in them.The first one I saw in for ever was Star Wars The Force Awakens(Awsome movie Soo clean!)But as help to any one you’ll do much better watching stuff from the 70’s on back.There not perfect,but Sooo Much more decent and cleaner.

  17. Rosie says:

    Interesting blog post. I went to see the film today not realizing how it ended and even that the topic of euthanasia was coming into it. It left me and my friend thinking (like you say) how hopeless his life seemed to him so much so that he felt the need to end his life…which brings me to my other point – I can understand why you might say that someone taking their life is selfish from our point of view but that’s not what is in their mind at the time. Of course, I can’t agree with it because God has clearly stated in His Word that it’s wrong but neither do I think it’s a decision made out of pride or selfishness. That person feels so hopeless in facing life, they can’t anymore. I think it people understood how much they were cared for, they wouldn’t go through with it. They just aren’t able to see their own value to others and the value of their soul.

  18. Rachel says:

    I agree with you that the movie portrayed the goal of life incorrectly. And suicide is definitely wrong. But I must disagree that everyone who commits suicide is doing it for a selfish purpose.
    Depression is a real condition, and it isn’t easy to overcome. With God’s help it can be overcome, but many people aren’t depressed because of selfish reasons.
    I believe one of the reasons so many people are committing suicide is that society today is putting down many people, and bullying and hate is a big problem. It lowers people’s sense of worth, and they don’t realize that God made them and He loves them.
    Another reason is that people who had seen awful things, such as soldiers, lose courage, and feel miserable, because they think they have no hope.
    I’m not in any way condoning suicide. It is wrong, but not necessarily caused by selfishness. God can help those who are struggling with self-harm/suicidal thoughts, and give them victory. There are a lot of hurting people out there who need someone to reach out to them.

  19. Gabrielle says:

    Wow!! I agree with you!!

    When I think about it there seems to be so many movies that pull at our heartstrings as young women, especially if there’s romance or a declaration of love involved, but in most cases they’re movies that we as Christians shouldn’t subject ourselves to, for more than one reason.

    Hmm…..thanks for bringing this to my attention. I really appreciate it.

  20. Rae says:

    I haven’t ever heard of this movie before, but I would like to add my 2 cents to the issue raised.
    I suffer from chronic depression, and have for a very long time. I have to fight to find even the will to live every day, and the will to ask God to give me another day. Currently, the Canadian government (I am Canadian) is discussing legalizing “doctor-assisted dying”. If I ever end up in a hospital as a result of my depression, a psychotic episode leading to a suicide attempt, etc, I want the doctors to help me to live, no matter how often I state the opposite. I don’t want to go to a therapist, tell them “I don’t want to do this anymore” just to have them go, “Ok, here’s a needle. I have another patient coming in so make this quick.” A small, but important part of having depression is feeling like no one cares. The attitude that would have to be portrayed by the doctor/therapist to offer the needle would simply confirm and compound that idea, no matter how flawed it might be.
    Just thought I might add that perspective.

  21. Madison McQuary says:

    I have found the controversy surrounding the movie very interesting and surprising. By all means I agree with this post and totally do not agree or support assisted suicide, or suicide in and of itself, but it is surprising to me that somehow that was such a big focus of peoples reactions to the movie. I read the book before seeing the movie and even knowing the ending saw it anyways. While the ending is heartbreaking and shocking the more subtle message of the movie and book are what truly stood out to me! While Will was determined not to live past his promised 6 months and while those around him slowly knew his decision they were not completely ok with it and didn’t want him to commit assisted suicide……they were completely against it! Therefore, to me that is when the important point of the story came in…..showing someone who thinks life isn’t worth living that it is…..that there is still so much to do and so much to be grateful for! Louisa wanted to make Will’s life worth living……her goal was to change his mind and give him something to live for. In the end even her and Will’s parents best attempts at persuading him otherwise failed and he chose a selfish route, but the point is that they tried because they knew life did have meaning and that being surrounded by people who loved you made it rewarding and worth living. However, that is not to say I agree and support its other message that suicide is ok, but in the UK, where the story is set assisted suicide is legal, furthermore, Will and the Traynor’s were not Christians and therefore their view of life and hardships was significantly warped in relation to our fulfillment and life purpose found in Christ. Therefore, while I understand people view and argument to the horrors that the movie encourages, I also see a more important message woven within the story (the book says so much more than the movie) and see that there is still a great positive aspect to it all………….show others around us that life is WORTH IT…….that living is WORTH IT……..and that there is so much to be grateful for especially when you are surrounded by those you love! It is loving people even when they want to take a different route, because we ourselves have been shown that same love by Jesus……even in our selfishness and sin and wrong decisions that go against God’s will we are still greatly loved and never abandoned by him!

  22. JustBabs says:

    Even worse than suicide is the subtle message that a crippled man and a ‘young beautiful’ woman cannot be together. The message here is that this young beauty-however that is defined, deserves a handsome man. That a crippled person does not deserve her. This is a foolish message preached by the world and sadly its residue found in the Church – where looks are prized and ‘admired’ – where we make and treat and judge and shrink from others all bcoz they look ‘beautiful’ or not. May God deliver us esp His church from such idolatry and wordliness. Most of us Christians have to ask God to deliver us from pacing after ‘looks’, or think our value is based on ‘looks’, God gave us all beauty and its all for Him – not for turning heads – am glad this blog preaches that.

  23. SedaJane says:

    The goal of life is to glorify God. And doing so, brings happiness.

    And no matter what your circumstance, you can glorify God.

  24. Amanda says:

    So sad!! I’ve seen/heard a lot of ads for this movie, and I heard it sent a pro-euthanasia message and portrayed people with disabilities as less valuable, but I didn’t know how the story went. That is so disappointing! Won’t be watching this one.

  25. Michelle says:

    I agree that physician assisted suicide is not okay, but at the same time think of how medical advances keep us alive long past what we would be without them. You can point to one example, maybe ten, of a paraplegic that found deeper purpose. Yet having gone through chemotherapy as a Christian and seeing just hard how it can be to keep living, I would speak slower. No my experience is not the same as a paraplegic but I have faced my own darkness and heard of people going through chemo after have cancer four times and thinking I would rather die than go through this again. This movie does not claim to be Christian in the slightest. It does bring a different view point that hopefully Christians can discern is not their own. It does bring to light the depth of suffering and darkness that comes with injury or illness. It does bring to light how another person can be healing as they walk through our journey with us. I didn’t applaud at the end. Most of my friends commented on how they missed Will and wish it could have been different. there is a sense of genuine mourning at the loss of life, but if I never put myself out there to feel that loss or to know that loss is in the world then how can I speak in a condemning manner without thinking deeper. Also to say suicide is the epitome of self-centeredness and pride proves that you probably haven’t been in the mental health community and walked closely with someone who was suicidal. You assume that they are in the state of mind that can even contemplate the future and what their choice means. it is crazy to say that if we just have enough joy we can get through anything. The Bible is filled with faithful people who cried out in lament and abandonment. Is that unfaithful because it does not sound like joy? What about Christ’s cry of forsakenness on the cross right before he dies? is that joy? You are right, happiness is not the goal of the Christian life, but what is like Christ is willing to enter into another’s suffering even when you cannot control the outcome. Once again I am not defending physician assisted suicide, but it is easy to look down on someone’s suffering and think you know best for them.

  26. Liz says:

    This post is so needed! You’re so right that the movie has a subtle, but devastating message. )=

  27. kayla cc says:

    Last week my best friend brought up seeing Me Before You. I thought it would be another “Nicholas Sparks” type film and didn’t think too much of it. I now realize that it is much more than that.
    The usage of euthanasia in this movie is incredibly disappointing. I have always thought of suicide as the most selfish thing that you could ever do and I feel that the very existence of euthanasia is poison. It can discourage people with incurable conditions from seeking joy in their lives.
    I think it is being shown as okay because of culture’s popular maxim “do whatever makes you happy.”

  28. Elizabeth says:

    Sounds like the movie doesnt share a good message. The thought of assisted suicide hurts my heart. However, depression exists in many people and many feel that suicide is the ony way out, Christian or not. I have been severly depressed to the point where I lost 15 pounds &felt completely MISERABLE (no exaggeration) all through this I was spending time with God. There was no logical reason for these feelings but I still felt them. A lot. Thanks to God&medication im better now & can’t believe the way I was thinking about my life at the time.. point is, depression isnt rational and people with depression’s brains aren’t functioning properly. I wish suicide never happened, but as someone who has suffered from depression&known people with truly awful lives that would give most of you nightmares, please reconsider calling suicide selfish. If these depressed people are Christian, they do not think they know better than God. Their brain is set on miserable feelings.I thank God for rescuing me from my situation but until you have suffered from awful depression (not sadness), please no condescending comments on suicide.

  29. Maria Rizza Labao says:

    I totally agree with all the things that are being said here. As much as I commend the actors for their acting skills, still the wonder of a movie lies on the gist of its message. The love portrayed in the film is so mundane… In fact, after I finished watching the movie, I cannot conclude that it was love after all, instead what I see is only attraction, desire not even enough to save a life.

  30. Just Cara says:

    Hi, I just wanted to say I’m really thankful for this article, I was beginning to wonder if I was just being weird about this film. I read the book, not realising that euthanasia was a main theme and when I finished it I felt so mad. I’m a Christian and I work in care (specifically with older people at the end of life) and despite how hard life is for them, despite how difficult it is looking after them, and despite the abuse we get from these people, I still find myself absolutely against euthanasia. The problem with this book is in the title. Me before you. It would have been so much more beautiful if they had both died. Every day. For each other. Now that’s a love story 🙂

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