By Christian DiMartino
Catherine Hardwicke makes up for Twilight… well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Catherine Hardwicke, a filmmaker who showed such promise with Thirteen over a decade ago, has finally made another good movie with Miss You Already, a manipulative but good-natured dramady with strong performances.
Jess and Milly (Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette) have been friends since childhood. They have stuck by each other through the good times and the bad, as explained in the opening sequence. Flash forward to present day. Jess is trying to have a baby with her husband, Jago (Paddy Considine). Milly, after a trip to the doctor, discovers that she has cancer.
This news kind of puts everything to the test. It causes trouble between her and her husband, Kit (Dominic Cooper), with whom she has three children with. It also tests Jess’ patience, as Milly can be a bit too neurotic. Jess soon finds out that she is pregnant, and would rather keep it a secret from Milly due to her current condition. Milly also has the hots for a bartender. La la la. Jaqueline Bissett also shows up as Milly’s bizarre mother.
In order for a gal-pal movie like this to work, the performances have to be convincing. We have to buy the fact that these two women are friends, and luckily, Barrymore and Collette sell it beautifully. Their chemistry is a delight to say the least, and when they hit a rough patch, we feel their pain. It is one of their best performances.
Cooper and Considine are pretty good as well, though I felt like their roles should have been reversed. What do I mean? Well, to me, Considine just makes more sense with Collette, and vice versa. But as I said, the performances do manage to convince.
The film tries to juggle a lot. It also occasionally goes soft on us, as we expect it to. This is a film that has a formula, and it sticks to it. But yet I didn’t mind being manipulated by it. This is a sad movie, but yet it has enough laughs to balance it out.
By the end though, Miss You Already is a film that doesn’t hold back, which is what makes it ring so true. Is it a great film? Eh, not exactly. But it is one that works well on its own terms.