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Film review: Miss You Already – Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette in tear-jerking friendship drama

Story pulls no punches when it comes to depicting the physical and emotional effects of cancer

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 March, 2016, 8:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 March, 2016, 8:00am

Like a Beaches for the 21st century, the BFF weepy is back with this tale of two childhood chums who go through boyfriends, babies, marriage, affairs and, yes, terminal illness together. Set in London, Toni Collette plays Milly, a rock PR and mother-of-two who is diagnosed with breast cancer. This news arrives with the titles barely over, and Miss You Already deals with the emotional and physical toll such an illness takes, refusing to spare you from the very real, heartbreaking details.

Directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight), the film ably depicts the feeble way we all deal with such tragic news. Milly’s husband Kit (Dominic Cooper) loses interest sexually after she has a double mastectomy (the result of which is shown in a very touching scene); meanwhile, relations are strained with Milly’s oldest and dearest friend Jess (Drew Barrymore), who is desperately trying for a baby, via IVF, with oil rig worker boyfriend Jago (Paddy Considine). Fights, fallings-out and reconciliations provide the narrative speed bumps.

Scripted by actress Morwenna Banks, Hardwicke never quite weeds out the plot’s more annoying Richard Curtis-like aspects (they live in a kooky world of houseboats, where people take taxis from London to Yorkshire). But Collette and Barrymore are reliably convincing, wearing their shared history well, and there’s something very brave about a film that refuses to soft-soap a terrible illness like cancer and the way it ravages the body. By the end, even the hardest of hearts will find it difficult to hold back the tears.

Miss You Already opens on March 3

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