Illness is an issue that seems to be dealt with a lot in films nowadays. Just looking back on the current year we can notice it’s occurrence more than once. We’ve had the brilliant Still Alice, seeing Julianne Moore pick up her Oscar and more recently we’ve seen Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Both films dealt with their material great so could Miss You Already follow suit?
I think it does. Miss You Already is the story of two life long friends, Milly (Toni Collete) and Jess (Drew Barrymore). Jess is desperate to start a family of her own meanwhile Milly receives the news that she has breast cancer and the film follows both characters throughout their struggles. Such sensitive source material has to be respected when telling a stories like this and I really sensed that throughout the movie. The emotional core of the film is put in place right from the start of the film and never leaves, this emotional tone runs throughout the whole film so be prepared to become involved in the events. This is easy though as the characters are very likeable and we get all the important information about them as Jess introduces them through narration at the beginning of the film, her narration returns at the end of the film but only then so fear not if you cringe or become irritated with narration, it’s used well here. There is humour in the film too, this is always done well and it makes for a nice contrast from the, at times heavy, drama.
The cast perform well and do justice to the story. Toni Collete and Drew Barrymore outshine their onscreen spouses Dominic Cooper and Paddy Considine but they were always supposed to albeit the guys do their part well too. The four main cast members do a great job at creating a believable dynamic between the two couples and within each couple. The supporting cast are on form too with Jacqueline Bisset contributing well as Milly’s mother. Frances de la Tour also offers her talent in one of the more emotional scenes of the film effortlessly blending into the film. Miss You Already deals with its theme so well as it showcases the effects that cancer can have on not just the individual suffering from it but all those around them. This aspect of the film is done very well and it was good to see such attention detail allowing for each family member or friend to have their time to express their feelings. The film is always engaging and even though its pushing the two hour mark in terms of running time it never becomes tiresome or over emotional.
Miss You Already is a touching but realistic look at illness, friendship and family life. Toni Collete and Drew Barrymore perform very well in challenging roles, Collete especially. The film remains engaging throughout and whilst there certainly will be tears shed at times there are plenty of opportunities for laughs too.
Rating – 8.5/10