The girlfriend dramedy Miss You Already is a fitting follow-up for Thirteen filmmaker Catherine Hardwicke. It just so happens to arrive late in her career after Lords of Dogtown, The Nativity Story, Twilight, and Red Riding Hood.
Miss You Already brings Hardwicke back to directing a smaller-scale heartfelt story pertaining to lifelong friends. Unlike Thirteen, these two friends bring out the best in each other. Jess and Milly (played by Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette) are inseparable – they have gone through childhood, teenage years, and their maturing adult lives with each other. Milly weds a former rockstar (Dominic Cooper) and Jess marries Jago, a charmer who travels for his job (Paddy Considine). Life’s heaviness interferes with happiness, however, when Milly is diagnosed with cancer (which introduces exhausting treatments and lifestyle changes), and Jess struggles with infertility.
Miss You Already is a light watch despite those previously mentioned conflicts. Drama is presented in a way that will have you feeling weepy, but not feeling depressed as the credits roll. Some will say the film’s been compacted through a Hollywood machine of sap, while others will find the taming to be set at a comfortable temperature. It’s a film that’ll play nicely on cable on a Sunday night. However, no matter how you feel towards Miss You Already, you’ll appreciate how the people who have made the movie chose not to treat their work as throwaway fluff.
Barrymore and Collette are both very good, and very believable when establishing their relationship to an audience of strangers. Cooper and Considine, with what little is given to them through the script’s characterization, even find ways to amuse, click, and make their roles matter in a picture revolving around the two actresses. No one is ever pushed to the side – a genuine and important move for a film about support and family.
For two hours, the movie moves fast in order to cover a lot of ground through passing years. At its worst, Miss You Already doesn’t have the time to responsibly carry side-plots with the same brand of focus its dedicating towards headliner issues. It’s nothing that an additional draft could’ve tightened up.
Miss You Already is the right pick if you’re looking for a film to take you through a fleeting ride of emotions. For cinephiles, it acts as a great return for Catherine Hardwicke.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie