Me Before You - Channel 5

Emilia Clarke gives Sam Claflin a reason to live

Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin make appealing leads in this unabashed tearjerker. 3/5 stars

Based on Jojo Moyes' bestselling romantic weepie, the story assaults your tear ducts and pulls on the heartstrings, but also works up an endearing charm.

Brimming with chirpy vitality as kooky, working-class Lou, Clarke is hired as companion for Claflin's sardonic, quadriplegic toff Will.

Having been paralysed in a motorbike accident, he has his mind set on ending his life in six months. Lou's task is to persuade him to go on living.

The film takes place in a ridiculously glossy, impossibly well-heeled world, while the characters verge on stereotype. Lou's mum and dad (Samantha Spiro and Brendan Coyle) are salt-of-the-earth types, while Will's parents (Janet McTeer and Charles Dance) are distinctly upper crust.

However, thanks to the great performances - McTeer and Dance convey their characters' tamped-down emotions well, while the charismatic Clarke and Claflin breathe vivid life into their characters - genuine feelings shine through.

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.