Milly and Jess have been best friends forever. They’ve shared everything since they were kids – secrets, clothes, laughs, substances, boyfriends… now they are trying to be grown-ups. Milly has a high-flying job and lives in a beautiful townhouse with husband Kit and their two kids. Jess is a town planner and she and her boyfriend Jago live on a bohemian houseboat on a London canal. Their friendship is as rock solid as ever. That is until Jess struggles to have a much longed-for baby and Milly finds out she has breast cancer. How do you share that?
Genre : Drama
Country : UK
Drew Barrymore : Jess
Toni Collette : Milly
Paddy Considine : Jago
Dominic Cooper : Kit
Director : Catherine Hardwicke
“How could the tumour have gotten so big?
It’s aggressive, like you. Jesus.
Well, is it contained?
In my body, yes.
You should’ve gone back sooner.
Yeah, thanks. Hadn’t figured that out. “
I’m not really a fan of tragicomic films with a terminal illness as a main topic. And yet I’m always impressed after accidentally watching such a movie. That was the case with “Philadelphia“, starring the overwhelming Tom Hanks who was diagnosed with AIDS. In “Still Alice” Julianne Moore starred as the with Alzheimer stricken Alice. And not so long ago, I praised “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl“. Also “Miss you already” kept me captivated. Especially by the stunning interaction between the two protagonists Jess (Drew Barrymore) and Milly (Toni Collette). Two best friends who shared every milestone in their life with eachother. An inseparable duo. They know each other thoroughly. Both their negative and their positive sides. And they succeeded as actresses to give me that feeling that they really knew each other since their childhood. A bond they’ve created over the years whereby they intuitively know how the other feels, what she thinks and how she’ll react. That’s why there’s this liberty to respond humorously to dramatic moments.
For me this was the main theme of this dramatic comedy. Even though tragedy hit Milly in a profound and poignant way, it’s that undestroyable friendship that emerges every time. The two inseparable friends with each their own personal problems. Milly suffers from something she would be better off without. Jess and her husband are craving for something else. Milly wants to be cured from cancer. Jess has a desire to have children. Of course it’s not so obvious to resolve both problems quickly. I was amazed about the fact that both ladies had a problem telling eachother about these major events, although they are so close friends and shared everything with each other. And still do. Weird.
Obviously this film will be regarded as a typical chick flick, with lots of unconstrained snivelling and sobbing. The themes are also women-related : giving birth (by the way, that scene was grossly exaggerated), best girlfriends for life, breast cancer, a disturbed positive self-image with the usual sexual problems afterwards. It also could have been the opposite, in my opinion. In such a way that the male portion of the world could relate to it. Two male protagonists and real “buddies for life”. One of them has testicular cancer and the other one has spermatozoa of poor quality. Same concept. But with less giggles.
The only remark you could have about this film is that the obvious clichés, associated with these emotional issues, aren’t avoided very well as in “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl“. The two protagonists were sublime, although for me Barrymore will always be that little girl who played along with “E.T.“. Perhaps both husbands Jago (Paddy Considine) and Kit (Dominic Cooper) played a minor role, but nonetheless an important one. Especially Considine was brilliant with that sarcastic, dry humor he used sometimes. I never imagined that seeing how someone vomits in a salad bowl, because of chemotherapy, would be sinister and comical at the same time. “Miss you already” isn’t exactly a light-hearted film and definitely isn’t suitable as entertainment to kill (sorry) a Sunday afternoon, but it still made an overwhelming impression on me. And although I thought I knew how it would end, it still was different than I expected. Women! Always against the grain …