Nick Wall
Leah Greenblatt
November 05, 2015 AT 08:16 PM EST

Miss You Already

Current Status
In Season
112 minutes
Wide Release Date
Drew Barrymore, Toni Collette, Dominic Cooper
Catherine Hardwicke
Comedy, Drama, Romance

We gave it an B+

Life is almost diabetically sweet for Jess (Drew Barrymore) and Milly (Toni Collette). Best friends since American-born Jess landed at Milly’s London primary school more than 30 years ago—cue the jaunty time-lapse montage!—they’ve seen each other through every formative first (crush, kiss, unexpected pregnancy). Both have cool modern-girl careers— as a sustainable gardener and music publicist—adoring husbands, and the kind of vaguely boho homes shelter-magazine dreams are made of. Then one day Milly goes in for her standard annual checkup and hears four words that send everything sideways: “The lump is malignant.”

Miss You Already is certainly not immune to some of the more well-worn clichés of disease dramedies: the foolish happiness of life B.C. (before cancer), the tearful hospital-bed confessions, the musical moment of levity. Director Catherine Hardwicke—probably best known for Twilight, though she also made the smart, unvarnished 2003 indie Thirteen—struggles at first to find the movie’s tone and make her characters more than archetypes. As the story unfolds, though, it finds its rhythm. Milly doesn’t suffer prettily; she’s pissed. And as she and everyone around her attempt to negotiate the painful, confounding effects of her illness, Miss You becomes something messier, more nuanced, and much more affecting: a movie about love and loss that doesn’t dissolve into soft focus when the hard parts start. B+

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