I’ve always felt like there are two kinds of emotional film. Some films very naturally just pull your heart-strings, and earn the emotion they make you feel. These tend to be well made, and usually have an element you can relate to. Some examples of these would be Inside Out and The Theory of Everything, which are two of my favourite films this year, and two films that had me bawling my eyes out. The other kinds are what I would describe as being emotionally manipulative, where they simply show you something that’s inherently sad, and expect it to be enough because it’s just oh so sad.
Going in, I was unsure of which one of these Miss You Already was going to be, and to be honest, I didn’t have very high expectations. That being said, I’m a fan of this film’s two leads, Toni Collette and Drew Barrymore, both of whom I feel like don’t get enough good roles, so there was always the hope that this would be a nice surprise.
Miss You Already is the story of two life long best friends, Jess (Barrymore) and Milly (Collette), the latter of which is diagnosed with breast cancer. Both of them struggle to maintain their old lives, and both characters handle and don’t handle what’s happening in different ways.
The first thing I want to mention is that the relationship between the two lead characters is wonderfully written, and wonderfully performed. Rarely have I seen such great chemistry, and such a realistic portrayal of the way best friends act and treat each other. They clearly love each other, and they’re incredibly rude to each other. The rest of the characters are also well written and performed, with Dominic Cooper being another stand-out.
This films does however fall into a trap that I’ve mentioned many times before, and will mention many times again in the future. Books have a lot of time to go into detail, can cover large amounts of time passing, and can focus on things that might not be very visually interesting. The middle section of this film very gently touches boredom, and even though it was obvious that these sections were probably better on the page, it still felt like it could have lost ten minutes or so.
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