Miss You Already Review - A Double Pack Tearjerker as Besties Face Life with Flair

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Miss You Already, from Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions, presents a story of friendship, of long-lasting, never-ending, enduring everything bond that survives through the struggles, the loves, hurt, injury and survives even through the nausea of modern life.

Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, Miss You Already, stars Toni Collette, Drew Barrymore, Dominic Cooper, Paddy Considine, with Frances de la Tour and Jacqueline Bisset and was written by Morweena Banks.

Miss You Already opens with Jess, played by Drew Barrymore, in labor. She is about to give birth and is going through the stages of bravery, no drugs and epidural or I’ll kill you and finally just screams “I need Milly,” which was one the nurse had not heard before.

This takes us a bit ahead of our story. The film begins nearing the end and then circles back filling in the blanks that brings us to this moment.

Jess and Milly, played by Toni Collette, meet in grade school, as Jess’ dad was transferred to London so we see the first day of a new school, in a new country and of course, the teacher asking the British children what they know about America. To which the worst America has to offer is recited including from our precocious Milly, who fakes an electric chair death.

Suddenly a friendship was born and played out on screen with voice over as the two instantly bond and are inseparable. A montage of the girl’s most memorable ‘tween and teen moments flash across the screen. Throughout this mosaic, we meet Miranda, Milly’s mother, a well-known British actress, played by Jacqueline Bisset.

Soon Milly and Jess are facing other moments. When the stick turns blue and Milly who found a nice roadie, Kit, played by Dominic Cooper, that matches her rock and roll personality, they begin another phase. Jess, as close as any member of the family is overjoyed. And when Jess, who is now a non-profit urban planner, finds her balance through Jago, played by Paddy Considine, it is an extended  family completed.

So suddenly the roaming, and searching, is over the girls have found their Heathcliff, as Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights is such an ingrained part the English culture.

Which is when the speed of the montage slows and the girls, now adults, are making their way.

Of course life is hardly ever, even with the best five year plans, smooth. And soon Milly, after two children, and an ideal life with Roadie Kit is settled and who knew he was also a talented businessman, Milly happy with Public Relations, two lovely children, even Mom is tolerable.

Everything is somewhat smooth, Jess and Jago, are living in the British version of a Mobil home, a house boat on the Themes. Feeling the need for a family, with the clock ticking they seem to be at a loss.

No one knew that devastation was right around the corner and one shattering moment would ruin the idyllic.

The promos for Miss You Already show Milly and Kit explaining cancer and chemotherapy to their children, so it is not a spoiler to add the fact the film moves into those dark days.

Not completed traditionally, and as much as I want to write about the ending, I won’t, as I want it to be experienced. The recall, of course, is of those brilliant films that capture the essence disease produces and the suffering involved.

Miss You Already is as brilliant as those films and under the direction of Catherine Hardwicke, who added a scene at the end, as the early sequences of the film is built on mosaics, we see her interpretation of finality. It was a wonderful scene in the mechanics of moviemaking which translates to deeply resonating and emotional.

Remembering of course, we met Jess, played by Drew Barrymore,during childbirth. She plays the character with authenticity and even the style of birthing, as the script called for, has her portraying the earthy, birthing sequences. Drew is a world class actress and she delivers the same level of skill, talent and inspired performance here.

Playing opposite Toni Collette cannot be easy and in a film that deals with the cycles of life, the unexpected and the devastating, she was able to go to the deep places and needed the gifted talent of an extraordinary cast to match her own.

Toni Collette is exceptional. I must say they all are. Jacqueline Bisset, portrays the mother who was never home, always off working, and now when she is ready for the mother-daughter relationship time snatches it from her in a double cruelty. Bisset, is also given those singular moments that are all hers even with others around.

Miss You Already is an ensemble piece and the talent, each bring a wealth, richness, to their roles. I felt connected to their moments, not as reviewer or critic, but a bond of similarity, I suppose. The freedom to cry with them, as it is a double pack tearjerker. I don’t really think there has been a film like this in some time.

I truly enjoyed Miss You Already. Yes, it is a chick flick in the truest sense. It has those moments which come to mind, when I actually felt outside of myself. I was transplanted into their world. Roaming the streets of London, enduring with them, hoping, believing, mourning. Miss You Already is genuinely moving.

Miss You Already may not stay long in the box office, opposite more lethal and lovable competitors, and if you miss it you’ll be sorry you did.

Miss You Already also offers, for those of us with wanderlust, beautiful scenery of both the modern London, the cobblestone of yesteryear and the historic Yorkshire Moors along the coast, the setting for Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.

Miss You Already is playing now. Check your local listings.

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