In the book, the café owner, Frank (Pablo Raybould), tells Louisa (Emilia Clarke) he must go back to Australia to take care of his father and thinks the local castle will soon be providing their own refreshments. In the movie, no explanation is given to Louisa about why she’s losing her job. He just hands her an envelope of cash and says he’s sorry.
In the book, Louisa constantly plays second fiddle to her younger sister, Treena (Jenna Coleman). But in the film, Louisa’s dedication to her family and own physical beauty rival her sister’s, making them confidantes.
Patrick (Matthew Lewis) and Louisa are dating, but they don’t make Patrick very sympathetic. Instead, he’s a comic figure who seems incredibly selfish and is strangely obsessed with running. This character tweak may have been to make it seem easier for Louisa to fall in love with Will.
In the book, we get a stronger sense of Will’s (Sam Claflin) frustration and anger about his quadriplegia. While we know he’s miserable in the movie, the filmmakers made him a little more likeable, possibly so that the romance could blossom more quickly.
Though his aid, Nathan (Stephen Peacocke), mentions to Louisa that Will has good and bad days, we don’t actually see Will go through a lot of pain or physical difficulty. Instead, it is just implied by Will’s negative attitude.
In the book, Will is planning to get help with his suicide from Dignitas. Dignitas is a real organization in Switzerland helping those with severe or terminal illnesses die with dignity through assisted suicide. It’s likely the filmmakers didn’t want to include the name of the group because of its controversial nature. Instead, it is simply implied that Will plans to go to Switzerland, where assisted suicide is legal.
In the film, Will teases Lou, asking if she has any suggestions for quadriplegic support groups, but there’s no mention of Lou researching other disabled people’s stories like she does in the book. We are left to ponder only Will’s experience.
In the movie, Will does introduce Louisa to foreign films with subtitles, but they don’t spend time discussing classical music or listening to opera. Putting this kind of music in the film would like turn off a younger audience.
In the book, we get a glimpse at Will’s sister, Georgina Traynor, who’s terribly self-absorbed and doesn’t want Will’s tragedy to affect her life. We can only guess that there just wasn’t enough time in the two-hour film to include her.
A very intense scene in the book is when Lou finally agrees to go into the castle’s maze, per Will’s urging. But she has flashbacks to a time when she was raped in the same maze and reveals this brutal secret to Will, making them closer.
In the book, it’s revealed Will’s father, Stephen (Charles Dance), is having a relationship with a young ginger-haired woman. This creates tension because he wants to divorce his wife Camilla (Janet McTeer), but is unwilling to do so as long as Will is alive. In the movie, it is merely hinted that Stephen is going out for the day, but where he’s going is left unclear. Camilla’s cold reaction shows us that she may know he’s going to visit his mistress, but it isn’t confirmed.