Or, as I like to call this movie, how many times can Catherine Hardwicke make me cry in two-and-a-half hours? From the previews this looks like your typical My Sister’s Keeper-esque film, however this film not only packs emotion but also a lot of laughs, even as it heads into dark waters fuelled by stars Toni Collette and Drew Barrymore. Going into this movie I knew I was going to cry, but I didn’t realise that it would come in (several) waves, and just how much this beautiful story and friendship hit me until afterwards (YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!).
Miss You Already follows the life of two friends Milly (Toni Collette) and Jess (Drew Barrymore) from their first meeting as schoolgirls when Jess transfers to England from America, to hanging out with Milly’s glamorous actress mother Miranda (Jacqueline Bissett) on set of her TV Soap as teenagers, to experiencing their first kiss together, to Milly’s marriage to rocker Kit (Dominic Cooper) and the subsequent birth of their two children. When Milly finds out she has an aggressive form of cancer, their relationship is tested as they go through the ups and downs that come with this dangerous disease.
After reading the synopsis I know what you’re thinking, sounds pretty standard right? To some degree it is; there are no ground-breaking new thematic ideas in this, but what it does come down to is the flawless performances from the entire cast. Collette is the stand out performer here, as always, as she completely embodies this character who I consistently had a love/hate relationship with. The ‘cancer bully’ element also took the film to some really dark moments with Barrymore and Cooper along for some pretty intense scenes. Bissett is flawless as Miranda, the complete diva who delivers a lot of laughs and energy when things start to get too heavy.
Hardwicke’s direction in this is flawless, the camera is consistently moving at an appropriate pace, and that opening montage alone is some of her best work. Interestingly enough, some of the scenes from the film were shot on an iPhone (apparently due to some issue with the memory cards in the camera they were using). The cinematography is breathtaking; the English moors have never looked so good on film, and London city actually feels like a character itself.
This film is a beautiful celebration of friendship and family, with human interactivity a big play on everything that is happening. When I wasn’t wiping away tears I was laughing, and as soon as I left the movie theatre I was texting my best friend to tell them that I love them and how grateful I am that they are in my life. It has been a while since I have been this moved emotionally and for a second week in a row I give a full 5/5!
Miss You Already is in cinemas now
Take your tissues and your bestie!
Review by Alaisdair Dewar