Rated: PG-13 for thematic content, sexual material and some language. Reviewed by: Jim Release date: November 6, 2015 Released by: Roadside Attractions
A mundane, conventional, yet intermittently affecting and definitely identifiable "cancer comedy" will appeal to the Lifetime crowd, but Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen, Twilight) may elevate it just enough above a "movie-of-the-week." Maybe some exterior constructional shots will appeal to those accompanying them.
A avant-garde based London situates her Miss You Already which stars Drew Barrymore, Toni Collette, Paddy Considine (as a record producer Jago) and Dominic Cooper (as an oil rig man Kit) and carries a distaff friendship vibe as in Boys On The Side (in which Barrymore co-starred) and Beaches (where terminal illness also came into play).
An emphasis on personal tics and mutual stamina is put to the test through advanced breast cancer (for Collette's two-child mother Milly) and infertility (for Barrymore's Jess. The latter is really the portal to the events with a halcyon aura to it as marital strife puts Milly on a philandering path at a pub and in vitro fertilization having Jess being less of a confidante to her life-long pal for good reason. Jacqueline Bisset appears as Milly's diva of a mum and Considine and Cooper add enough to spousal roles typically of the more forbearing variety.
Veering from the comedic and naughty to the wrenching allows for some notable turns for the reliably humorous Barrymore (Blended, Big Miracle) and, in particular, Collette (Tammy, Enough Said) to give some honest intensity to what Hardwicke is aiming for, humanistically. Collette's singing background helps Milly project a rocker feeling amid personal hardship (the lowness of medical conditions isn't brushed over).
If only Hardwicke could transcend the usual by-the-numbers melodrama to augment a more subtly effective piercing fragility. But, the situations and characters may just be enough especially for those deeply bonded and finding it hard to let go. Already may have a limited theatrical shelve life despite the ambitiousness to keep it less teary (than it may be) and the dramatic fulcrum of Barrymore opposite Collette's showy elan.
|Miss You Already||B-||C+||B-|