Miss You Already
(M) Starring: Toni Collette, Drew Barrymore
It is a rare thing to have a friendship that lasts a lifetime in this social networking era. Miss You Already is the story of Milly (Toni Collette) and Jess (Drew Barrymore), who have maintained their camaraderie throughout the highs and lows of their lives. Throughout the years, Jess admits that every picture she has of herself includes Milly. As they have grown-up, Milly has gone on to be a successful public relations manager with her husband, Kit (Dominic Cooper). Jess lives with her boyfriend, Jago (Paddy Considine), on a houseboat on a London canal and they enjoy their Birkenstock-wearing lifestyle.
Even though they have gone down different paths in life, Milly and Jess’ devotion to one another is the one constant in their lives. Their long-suffering bond is put to the test when Milly finds out she has breast cancer and Jess attempts to have her first baby. How will their friendship hold up under the pressure of these trying circumstances?
Director Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) provides a glimpse into the unique bond that occurs between women. With a hand-held camera style, she rises to the challenge of portraying a friendship that remains rock-steady through all of life’s ups and downs. The camerawork provides a very personal feel to their journey together.
Throughout the horrific ordeal of breast cancer, Hardwicke keeps the focus on the ties that bind these forever friends. The realism of this story gives the attitude that life goes on despite the situations faced by the characters in the film. The emotional turmoil of these women’s medical dramas is captured, as well as the impact it has on all of the people in their relational orbit. Hardwicke succeeds in communicating the necessity of friendship and how women need a close friend through life’s experiences.
Where Hardwicke falters in the delivery of Miss You Already is helping us connect with the lead characters. By taking a ‘warts and all’ approach to portraying these friends, the Milly character comes off as unappealing and overly selfish. Makes it difficult to garner any sympathy for her.
Conversely, Barrymore is convincing as the typical doormat friend, but does not seem to expand beyond many of the other roles she has played in past films. Miss You Already should have developed a certain amount of sympathy for its central duo but it did not provoke this emotional engagement. While trying to communicate a beautiful story of a friendship between women, it turns into a depressing and occasionally hopeless story.
Towards the end of the film, Milly states that she hopes there is a heaven. This dialogue leads to a muddled and sad conclusion, but it is a question worth considering.
Fortunately, God does not leave us without an actual answer to this question of the existence of heaven. Life after death is real and we can learn a lot about it through the Bible. Regardless of what this life provides, there remains a heaven and a hope in the life that comes after this life.
What are some of the bigger questions to consider from this film?
- What does the Bible say about friendships? (Proverbs 18:24, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
- What can we do when trials come in our lives? (2 Corinthians 4:16-18, James 1:12)
- Where can true hope be found? (Psalm 39:7, Romans 12:12)
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