Lina Lamont

"What do you think I am, dumb or something?"

Miss You Already

This review first appeared in the Sunday Star-Times, 11th October 2015

You will love this movie if you:

  • Have ever thought that Drew Barrymore would make the best friend ever.
  • Enjoy the catharsis of crying publically in the dark over a fictional person’s distress.
  • Think that Toni Collette is a very fine actress, whose bottom lip has no equal when it comes to expressing dire emotion.
  • Are impressed at how much Dominic Cooper has progressed from History Boy to real-deal actor, while still being quite dishy.
  • Can handle a melodramatic plot which moves at extreme pace through the tumult of child-bearing, cancer treatment and the travails of friendship.

If, on the other hand, you cannot abide:

  • A melange of camera styles – just put it on a tripod, for goodness’ sake!
  • A lot of eye-rolling and OTT in your performances.
  • Madcap editing, necessary to cram a lifetime into a pre-credits sequence because we have to get the sad parts of this story underway –

– well, then maybe this won’t be quite your thing.

Director Catherine Hardwicke came out with the gritty teen drama Thirteen long before the first Twilight movie made her name, and there are aspects of Miss You Already which demonstrate her acuity with dealing in real-life, devastating issues. The film does not shy away from showing chemotherapy and surgery in all its horror, and an incredibly sensitive hair loss scene owes all to a beautiful cameo by the maternal Frances De La Tour. While Collette’s tough broad character tries to stamp out the pity, the warmth in Barrymore’s sad, doe-eyed smile is just heart-breaking. These are the moments when the film earns its stripes.

Less palatable are some of the artistic and narrative choices – the conflicts, selfishness and bad behaviour may have splashes of realism but mostly feel forced – but there’s no disputing Miss You Already is an effective tearjerker and you’ll need to bring the tissues.

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