Miss You Already
Starring Toni Collette, Drew Barrymore, Dominic Cooper, Paddy Considine, Jacqueline Bisset
As far as cancer films go, Miss You Already does strike me intentionally striving for the moments we haven’t seen on film before. It’s hard to find a more talented actor than Oscar nominated Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense, The Way Way Back). It’s been a while since the Aussie actress has taken a lead role in a mainstream film, of course she is co-leads here with Drew Barrymore. Director Catherine Hardwicke’s film about friendship, cancer and fertility aims to appease the female ticket buyer. Men are interestingly sympathetic, beautiful and yet still pivotal to the ever changing course of the script.
Since her arrival in London in as child, Jess (Barrymore) has always been at the side of Milly (Collette). They have shared everything together through the years, yet for the first time, the two best friends find themselves separated. Vain, mother of two, married to a former rock star (Cooper), Milly has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Jess and her husband (Considine) after years of trying to start a family, have resulted to a fertility clinic. Both women obviously stressed by their own life changing situation while trying to support one another, find their friendship at its most turbulent crossroads. Both use humor and reflection to remind themselves of their bond.
Often relying on the humor in the situation might not sit well with some.
Hardwicke (Twilight, Red Riding Hood) opens the film with a friendship collage, speeding through Milly and Jess’s friendship until we arrive at present day. The script spends a great deal of time exploring the aspect of hair loss during chemotherapy. While most films skip right though this difficult aspect of cancer, Miss You Already uses this time to make up for that speedy collage in the beginning. Other scenes too feel more flushed out than previous cancer films, like a couples re-introduction to sex after a change in the body. Hardwicke is never afraid to portray women in all their facets, including this film which isn’t content just to provide sympathy for Milly’s character, she is far more multidimensional than that.
Barrymore and Collette probably have very similar screen time, but this is Collete’s film as her character really benefits from the larger character arc. Still it isn’t without fault and so often relying on the humor in the situation might not sit well with some. Even with handful of scenes that push this cancer film into new territory, this script only seems interested in scraping the surface of Milly and Jess. Perhaps because it’s intended as a mainstream release (the alternative to females not interested in James Bond) it always has the goal of making you feel good in the end, despite the subject matter.
Worth seeing for Collette’s unforgiving performance.