Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Miss You Already (2015)

Miss You Already is a long intimate goodbye between the best of friends Jess (Drew Barrymore) and Milly (Toni Collette).


They were inseparable since childhood. Jess had moved in from the US into London with her parents.  It was one of those moments, two children that just clicked.  Milly, in Jess’ words, took pity and promptly taught her how to be more British. From then on they went through the first experiences; shared the happy experiences and eased each other in the bad.

There’s just something more endearing in friendship than lovers. 

What Miss You Already got perfectly is the intimacy of friends. Drew and Toni had great chemistry and a great script to build on. It’s like watching the nonsense of only two close people can know about.  As friends they can put to shame the chemistry of many lovers portrayed in romance comedies.

The detail that made it so great is that Jess and Milly were never always in the same level. As they say in friendship or maybe in any relationship there’s always the quiet one and louder one. There’s a friend in luck and one not so much. One married and the other still being set up for a blind date. What is important is that through the ups and downs they pull each other in order to keep moving forward.

Jess married a little later so Milly made her Auntie Jess to her children. Even when she got married her husband Jago (Paddy Considine) was adopted into Jess and Milly’s circle. When Milly  was diagnosed with cancer, endured chemo until eventually mastectomy Jess assists her even when she needed to tend to her own pregnancy.

Besides the obvious pain illustrated by that big ass close-up of the needle in her first chemo treatment, Miss You Already shows cancer by attacking Milly’s vanity. 

It was brilliantly setup Miranda (Jacqueline Bisset), Milly’s mother, is an actress.  Milly was raised with a certain concept of beauty, anyone’s natural view of womanhood actually, and it is literally being cut away.  Kit (Dominic Cooper), Milly’s husband, loves her but Jess was the only eyes she finds tolerable, to ease her through the first few days of recovery.

Surprisingly the comedy of Miss You Already is also top notch.  There was a precursor to it when the movie opened with Jess going into labor.  She was ranting comically in a manner only a woman going into labor pains would get away with.  I didn’t think though that the comedy would last all throughout the movie since the concept of cancer and death was introduced immediately after the hospital scene with Jess but it did.

What’s interesting is that big moments of levity occur in and around Milly’s treatments, sometimes when the disease goes up a notch. Personally I find it surprising that it works since having known someone who fell to cancer. Finding ways to laugh every time the diseases pushes back feels impossible, and yet when it happens in the movie it feels natural.

It was sweet seeing them be able to do that at the ever growing disease. I laugh and yet I feel dread the time is running out. This is definitely one of the best portrayals of how fragile joy and laughter with your love ones can be that I have seen.

The ending is as expected or maybe you can ask if it ended at all. Best friends forever as they say. May all of us be so lucky.

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