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There’s a good chance you’ve seen advertisements for a new movie that will be released next week. Imploring moviegoers to “live boldly,” “Me Before You” is a drama that is being billed as the next great romance.
In reality, it’s nothing more than a snuff film furthering the message that people are better dead than disabled. Based on a novel by British novelist Jojo Moyes, the plotline is being slammed by disability advocates who are calling for people to boycott the film.
In “Me Before You” (note: movie spoilers below), Louisa Clark is a quirky girl whose life has no direction. She’s hired by the mother of Will Traynor, a quadriplegic. Will had been able-bodied, active, successful, and happy… until he was in an accident, which left him wheelchair-ridden. He became withdrawn, depressed, and suicidal, wanting to visit Dignitas — the notorious assisted suicide clinic — to kill himself, which is why Traynor’s mother hired Louisa, in hopes of lifting him out of his funk and reminding him that life is worth living.
While at first the two hate each other, they eventually fall in love, with Will imploring Louisa to live life boldly and to live it well. Louisa takes Will on outings and on a vacation, and while he is happier with her than he ever has been before, he cannot bear to live life in a wheelchair. He chooses to kill himself at Dignitas, and leaves Louisa a large amount of money so that she can live her life to the fullest.
Rather than being seen as promoting a horrific message of “better dead than disabled”, the novel has received rave reviews from critics and readers alike. It was lauded by USA Today, The New York Times, O, the Oprah magazine, Good Housekeeping, and many more. The book was successful enough to spawn a sequel, titled “After You,” and a movie. The harmful messages being promoted are ignored or hushed up.
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