Wednesday, 28, July, 2021
StartColumnsComparativesMovie vs Book Comparison: & #039; How I Was Before You & #039;

Comparison Film vs Book: 'How I Was Before You'

Every adaptation has its changes and cuts, it is inevitable. Some of them are serious, others improve the final result of the film. How I Was Before You did not escape these changes.

See which ones were and what was the impact of each in the work below.

If you don't know anything about the premise of How I Was Before You, first read the film review by clicking on here or the book by clicking on here.

*** Warning: Contains spoilers of the works ***


Lou does not resign when he discovers the suicide plan

In the book, as soon as we start to get used to Will, we discover that he intends to end his life. It was an agreement made with his parents, after attempting suicide alone. The boy agreed that he would give 6 months and then go to a clinic in Switzerland where euthanasia is legal. When Lou hears this, she is desperate and thinks that her job there was just to keep an eye on Will to keep the deal and try nothing in those 6 months. She is horrified to think that he will die and resigns, leaving and leaving a letter, making Will's mother practically beg her to come back, explaining the situation.

Did it make a difference in the film?  Not so much. She even says that she is leaving, but after a brief conversation with her sister she ends up deciding that she wants to try to make Will want to live again. Well, in reality it is the mother who wants this, exactly why Lou was hired and the feature film suggests that everything was her idea. It does not affect the understanding, but it reverses the roles.


They greatly softened the disasters in the first attempts to leave Lou and Will

When Lou decides to take Will out of the house for the first time, using excuses to go to the horse race, the disaster of the ride is so great that it makes him despair. In the feature, they showed this tour, with some of the problems, but few and pulled to the comic side.

It made a difference in the film? Yes, because this is the first real contact with Will's reality outside the comfort of his home and we can see the difficulty he suffers in a social interaction. It also shows how complicated it will be for Lou to keep his plan to encourage him to live with his ideas, since a simple walk like this turned into a horrible day. Making this ride lighter took much of the drama out of the situation.


Georgina doesn't exist

Yes, Will's sister was cut from the feature. All the objections she makes in the book are made by the mother in the film and it is not through her that Lou discovers the plans, but through a conversation she overhears between his parents.

Fdifference in the film? No. As strange as it may seem, taking out a character made no difference, since all of Georgina's questions are raised by her mother. 


There was no betrayal of Will's father

The book mentions several times that Will's father had a mistress, and even has an entire chapter about her. In the feature, nothing is mentioned, only once do they imply that Lou shouldn't tell his wife that he left, but they don't explore it.

Did it make a difference in the film? No. In reality, I don't see much reason for that even in the book, it's just a fact of the family that makes no difference in the story. 


They do not show the labyrinth scene, nor do they mention that Lou was raped

At various times during the reading, Lou mentions that she has the trauma of a certain night when she was drunk at a party in the Castle, so drunk that she was lost in the maze and her sister had to rescue her. After that, he never returned there. The way she talks about that day hints that something very serious has happened and we find out that she was abused by several boys when she tells Will. On one of the tours, the two go to the Castle and Will convinces her to go to the maze. She panics and gets lost there, needing him to go to the entrance (because her wheelchair would not allow her to enter) to rescue her and only then tell him what happened.

Did it make a difference in the film? Yes. It's a very deep scene and not only brings the two together (Lou never told anyone about it), but explains the deviations in the character's behavior.


There is no part of Tattoos

In one of the attempts to get Will out of the house, Lou mentions that he wanted to get a tattoo. As the boy thinks she has to leave her comfort zone, he goes with her to a tattoo parlor and promises to do one if she does. She makes a bee on her hip and it says "March 19, 2007" on the side of the trunk. It is a mention of your accident.

Does it make a difference in the film? No, but it's a cool scene.


Lou is not going to live with Patrick, does not live in the annex and does not fight with Will’s mother because of the move

At one point, everyone is concerned about how little time is left before Will's euthanasia. During this period, Lou suffers some space problems at her parents' house and goes to sleep at her boyfriend's house. Will also offers a room in the annex for her, but Patrick, in an unromantic way, ends up asking her to move into his apartment. She goes, and when Will's mother finds out, she provokes a serious fight in public, saying that she could wait, that her son is attached to her and that Lou is rubbing his happiness in his face.

Does it make a difference in the film? Not so much. In the book, these facts are used to show Will and Lou's romantic transition, as the fight with his mother shows that she hoped that her son would save this love. It is also another chance to hate Patrick, since they were together for 7 years and he only suggested the change for "seeming logical".


It does not show the initial travel plan, with extreme sports.

In the book, when Lou finally convinces Will to take a trip, he manages to find a place that offers the opportunity for radical sports for the disabled. Everyone thinks the idea is sensational, but Will's pneumonia does not allow this trip.

Does it make a difference in the film? A little. In the book, this trip gives a huge hope that Will will change his mind, since radical things is what he misses the most. It's bad because it showed that he could go back to doing what he liked about life and leaves the doubt if he would have solved it.


Lou doesn't tell Patrick about the suicide. Consequently, he does not count for newspapers.

When Patrick starts to complain about Lou and Will's closeness, she ends up telling her the real reason why she dedicates herself so much to this work. Still, a while later, Patrick ends up being too uncomfortable with the trip that Lou intended to take and the relationship ends. In revenge, he tells the Newspapers about Will's plans.

Does it make a difference in the film? None, I don't think I would even do it in the book. This part is little explored, only to reinforce that Patrick was really an asshole. In the movie, he's not even that boring ...

Lou does not research the electronics that Wll can use to make his life easier or talk to other quadriplegics

Lou does extensive research to find out what Will feels about his condition. She spends hours on websites and forums trying to ask people who have been through this how to help their friend. In these researches, she finds several devices that can help in his practical life, such as adapted keyboards and this helps the whole family a lot. In the film, Will already had several of these accessories when Lou meets him and she never gets to search the forums.

Does it make a difference in the film? A little, especially the research part, as it shows how much Lou was committed to helping and how she managed to get so intimate with Will.


If you want a second opinion on the changes, see the text below with the testimony of a reader:

According to journalist Bruna Trindade, a specialist in literature, the film had essential scenes cut but did not lose the charm of the pages for the big screen. “Some scenes were ignored, for example, the castle scene, in which Lou remembers what happened to her, the end of the romance Don Patrick, the dialogues with his nephew… I felt it was something quick, you know, not as intense as in book. It was as if this scene should have entered to fill time and done in a hurry ”, he reported.

But that was just the bad part. Bruna confesses that during some scenes of the film, the involvement with the story was so much, that the audience applauded along with the cast of the film, as if something had been agreed between both, which was not true. "It was at the scene where Lou gets the birthday present, just like me, the audience applauded and were moved," he said. “The film's screenwriter made some adaptations. It made Will's death light, not so dramatic, which in the book is far from that, and put him as if he loved Lou, which in the book never happened. He had an affection for her and that's it, ”he said.

The journalist confesses that she became a card fan of Jojo Moyes, author of the book. In her experience of analysis and literary reviews, Bruna came to the conclusion that the book that touched her most during all this time, was “As I was before you” and that she cried both during the reading period and in the cinema. ”O book is beautiful, the film as much. Jojo is surprising ”, he concluded.
Text by Luã Stewart.


  1. I thought it didn't cost anything to show her, she was shaken when I heard he was going to the dignist, I didn't understand why he cut her scene by cutting his hair (it showed that he was opening up to her), I also didn't like that they reduced the difficulties they had on their first departure; because in the book it became very real what are the difficulties of a wheelchair user. And the part that Will takes her out of the maze and that she tells him about suffered abuse (that part was really cool in the book and shows that she trusts him and he says things to comfort her). It also does not show the problems she suffers at home and how her family oppresses her and prefers her older sister.
    But despite these important things that took from the film, he did not lose its beauty and its message because it is a wonderful and sad story unfortunately, lol, but as a Jojo fan I liked the movie and loved the book !!!

    • Hello Marcella, thanks for the comment!

      I agree that they eased the drama a lot, I think they invested more in the novel and left the difficulties that so shake us in the outside book. Like you, I think that even with its cuts and subtleties, the film was very beautiful. Each work with its beauty.

  2. You said there is an entire chapter in the book told by Will's father's lover, I don't remember, I just remember the chapter narrated by Steven where he talks about her.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Follow our social networks


Review | Free – Fifty shades of freedom through the eyes of...

Relive the sensuality, romance and drama of Fifty Shades of Freedom — the love story that captivated millions of readers around the world — from the thoughts, reflections and dreams of Christian Grey.

The Walking Dead | Scene of intimate moment causes disgust in ...

Scene of intimate moment between Negan and Alpha caused negative reactions in fans of The Walking Dead. Look.
Comparativo Filme vs Livro: 'Como Eu Era Antes de Você' 7

A farewell to Merlin

Thunder Wave-Filmes, Séries, Quadrinhos, Livros e Games Thunder Wave