Pack your tissues, it’s time for a weepy melodrama where the relationships are bumpy and the illnesses terminal. I feel no regret disclosing that last bit since Miss You Already’s title betrays the unfortunate fate of perky mother-of-two, Milly (Toni Collette). Indeed this film is content rolling out its by-the-numbers plot relying on the performances of Collette and Drew Barrymore as Milly’s bereaved BFF, Jess.
Without Collette this film would be shit. A terrific actress, she imbues her role with uncommon charisma and depth of humanity. She acts circles around Barrymore, who struggles to elicit much empathy. Sure, she is required to play the ‘straight wo-man’ to Collette’s party-girl, but her endless cutesy smiles make for one dimensional acting; particularly when compared to her co-star’s dynamism. Barrymore is likeable, but that’s the bare minimum required to anchor this type of narrative.
The script offers occasional insight into the identity-stripping effects of breast cancer but I disliked some aesthetic choices (handheld camerawork) and the lazy ending (drowning in sentimentality). Despite this there’s a degree of chemistry between the leads and I liked the supporting cast – Paddy Considine in particular. Tears were jerked, but try 50/50 for a meatier cancer-related buddy drama.