Miss You Already
Directed by Catherine Hardwicke
The friendship between two life-long girlfriends is put to the test when one starts a family and the other falls ill.
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★★★½ review by Lucy on Letterboxd
i've never met her but i trust drew barrymore with my life and i always have
★★★½ review by Esteban Gonzalez on Letterboxd
“You kind of look like a superhero.”
Catherine Hardwicke may not be a director who has consistently delivered strong work, but I tend to enjoy her more personal and female centered films. Many probably know her for her direction in the first Twilight film, which I actually enjoyed quite a bit despite the critical hate. Red Riding Hood I can agree with everyone was a huge failure, but her debut film, Thirteen, still remains one of her best films to date. I found some similarities between that film and Miss You Already, Hardwicke's latest movie. Although Thirteen centered on two young teenagers, it was basically a movie about female characters. In Miss You Already the characters are in their late 30’s but the film also centers on a strong female friendship. It is not every day you get to see a film where the two protagonists are females and both the director and the screenplay writer are also women. The film has a voice of its own and despite being melodramatic at times it does feel authentic. It deserves to be seen.
I know that there will be many comparisons between this film and The Fault in Our Stars because it centers on a character battling with cancer, but this film deals with the subject matter in a much more authentic tone. It is not aimed towards teens by introducing a charismatic character, but it tries to deal with the subject matter in an honest way by showing how cancer affects not only the individual but the family and friends around them. The friendship between Drew Barrymore’s Jess and Toni Collette’s Milly is at center and we get to see how this new struggle alters the course of their own personal family lives. The men playing their husbands (Dominic Cooper and Paddy Considine) are relegated because this is a film centering on female characters, but they each add emotional value to the film. I enjoyed the family dynamics here and was touched by the more emotional moments. I never felt them manipulative because the film has a voice of its own. Hardwicke seems to be in a much more comfortable position when she centers on dramatic stories and stays away from science fiction.
The performances from both Collette and Barrymore are solid and I believe they are the reason why the film works as well as it does. Collette especially gets to shine since she has some of the most difficult and emotional scenes in the movie, but Barrymore knows how to stand her ground and the chemistry between both actresses was solid. Cooper and Considine also get to have their moments although they don’t get much screen time. The cast is great and the film benefits from their charismatic performances. Miss You Already might not be an original or groundbreaking film, but it is a sincere family drama that manages to deliver authentic emotions.
★★★★ review by ava davis on Letterboxd
I don't care about cancer, I cry while R.E.M.'s "Losing my Religion" plays.
THAT'S ME IN THE CORNER.... THAT'S ME IN THE SPOTLIGHT LOSING MY RELIGION....................................
★★★½ review by Dawson Joyce on Letterboxd
Strong performances, well-written and engaging characters, a great deal of heart, assured direction from Catherine Hardwicke, and excellent chemistry between Toni Collette and the lovely Drew Barrymore not only make Miss You Already a surprisingly compelling and sincere drama but also help make up for its more sappy and emotionally manipulative moments.
★★★½ review by TajLV on Letterboxd
Film #31 among my 52 Films by Women 2017
Catherine Hardwicke's directing career started with promise in 2003 and then took an artistic nosedive with "Twilight" (2008) followed by the critically unacclaimed "Red Riding Hood" (2011) and "Plush" (2013). Reviews of this film seemed to indicate she had regained her mojo, so I thought I'd give it go, especially since it features two actresses I usually like: Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette playing BFFs Jess and Milly.
The girls' history together dates back to when they were both ten years old and American Jess started school in London, following the move of her mother to England. The two besties did everything together, from sharing their first kisses with the same boy to becoming punk rock groupies. Then, their lives diverge as Milly marries a roadie named Kit (Dominic Cooper) and they quickly have two kids, while Jess stays single till she meets and eventually marries a manual laborer named Jago (Paddy Considine).
Milly's life takes off like a skyrocket. At 40-something, Kit becomes wealthy and successful in the music industry, while she becomes a high-flying P.R. agent. Jess's life, by comparison, seems stuck in second gear. She's an under-appreciated environmentalist, having trouble getting pregnant, and Jago has to work on oil rigs for months at a time to pay for expensive IVF treatments. Still the girls remain close friends, even while growing apart.
When Milly learns she has breast cancer, Jess is the first person she confides in. She has to undergo chemotherapy, which is successful, but still must endure a double mastectomy. It's about that time Jess finds out she's finally pregnant, but she can't bring herself to tell Milly, thinking her "good news" would only add insult to her buddy's depression. They become estranged, and it will take some additional "bad news" to get them back together.
More than anything, this is a character film, and how much you enjoy it will depend greatly upon how engaged you are in the two principals and their relationship. Collette is the force here, dragging Barrymore and everyone else through the scenes. We feel her pain, her frustration and her resignation. We all know how unfair life is, and this film simply emphasizes it, along with the importance of close friends in times of need.
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