MISS YOU ALREADY

It has been hard to write the review for MISS YOU ALREADY, good friend Cath and myself got to attend the premiere for it at the glamorous and charming State Theatre nearly two weeks ago. We were in the presence of the great lead actresses Toni Collette and Drew Barrymore but I have not been able to still my thoughts on the movie to get it written down but since it released this Thursday from the peeps at eOneANZ I need to remove head from botbot and get the article up. MISS YOU ALREADY is rated M and runs for 112mins. All the best……….JK

 

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MISS YOU ALREADY | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER IMAGE

 

BY JASON KING

MISS YOU ALREADY has been described and sold as the “BEACHES for this generation” – terribly sorry but NOPE. It is a decent “cancer” movie but it is no BEACHES, that movie will destroy you.

They say opposites attract. Milly is the woman who has everything: a successful career; a rock-star husband and two beautiful children. Her best friend is Jess, she works in a community garden; lives in a boathouse with her boyfriend Jago and desperately wants a baby. Friends since childhood Jess and Milly can’t remember a time they didn’t share everything – secrets, clothes, even boyfriends, their differences are the glue that binds them together. That is until Milly is hit with the life changing news that she has breast cancer and needs Jess’s support more than ever. As Jess tries to balance her own life as well as being there for Milly it is only a matter of time before the pressure on their bond takes its toll. 

 

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MISS YOU ALREADY | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | JESS (DREW BARRYMORE) AND MILLY (TONI COLLETTE) AT MILLY’S SHOTGUN WEDDING TO KIT (DOMINIC COOPER)

 

The performances are all exceptional, Collette really goes all out for this movie, she is definitely the lead and casting went through both Jennifer Aniston and Rachel Weisz (both pulled out) before Collette asked Barrymore to be in the movie just months after giving birth, she accepted because she wanted this movie for her daughter, wanted to show her a film about reality and the true values of friendship, and friends they are, so incredibly close in real life Barrymore was pretty much permanently attached to Collette on stage – it was adorable. And their onscreen friendship chemistry = brilliant – I could not see Aniston or Weisz in this role.

Barrymore is always loveable no matter how shit a movie she is in (cough anything by that idiot Adam Sandler) – to be honest Barrymore never takes any hard roles, never strived for an Oscar and is happily type-cast in romcoms these days, but you know what – the entire planet loves her for it, I was nearly prostate on the State Theatre floor in worship of her, she has been a cute, sometimes hilarious, sometimes sad and always adorable presence in my life since ET released and I, like millions of others LOVE HER. This is not her best role but she does loveable and supportive friend so well.

And special mention to Milly’s mum, Miranda, a high class woman who was the maker of Milly and someone barely holding it together (as a mother would), this role was so superbly played by the always divine Jacqueline Bisset.

 

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MISS YOU ALREADY | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MILLY (TONI COLLETTE)

 

Director Catherine Hardwicke (TWILIGHT, THIRTEEN) brings us a difficult film that sadly tries too hard, it aimed at giving us a beautifully shot cancer movie – success and check, it aimed at giving us a strong eternal friendship in Jess and Milly – success and check, it gave us strong leads – success and check. But then it went a little bit overboard by trying to give us a cancer movie where the cancer patient goes off the rails, which is completely acceptable, but the woman is so unlikable that the only reasons we put up with her are (the obvious reason) cancer, we cannot admit to hating a person dying with cancer, she is a spoiled brat that has had her entire life her way and she is going to end it that way too. Will probably cop it from a few people for the above but while Collette is superb in the role, her character I really could not stand.

Hardwicke has tried to get us to see this person not as a person but as the besty of Jess (Barrymore) and love her unconditionally because of this, nope, why Jess put up with her I will never know, Milly is the person who only rings when she wants something. Was this Hardwicke’s intention? I understand all kinds of people get cancer, but I want to like the person I am watching fade into oblivion while walls crash down and Hardwicke does not allow this to happen.

I think Hardwicke tried to make the movie funny in scenes with Milly and Jess, and some of them were but it just deteriorated and was not funny, it was annoying, Milly was not nice before the cancer and obviously became a lot less loveable with the cancer.

 

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MISS YOU ALREADY | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | JESS (DREW BARRYMORE) AND JAGO (PADDY CONSTANTINE) ON THEIR HOUSEBOAT

 

I wanted more of Jago (Paddy Constantine) and Jess, my kind of hippy people living on the most amazing houseboat EVER!!!!! Jago is the attempted version of Jess’s conscience trying to get her to see the control Milly has over her but when that gets too much the script just sends him to work on an oil rig in the middle of the ocean so we can have the Milly and Jess show. I get the point of it; cancer will fuck with everyone’s life any time of the day and not only messes up the lives of the people sick but also the circles of people in that person’s life.

And Dominic Cooper, I love him and I loved they had a rockstar character, is it the first in cinema history? that gives up drugs and the rock and roll lifestyle to settle down with the crazy groupie that he got pregnant. It showed real love, it showed commitment, and it showed a more than one dimensional rockstar BUT he was too young for Collette’s Milly. Was that also a point? That Milly got another thing she wanted and the younger guy was her kind? Which was contrasted with Jess’s working class older man that was more suited?

 

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MISS YOU ALREADY | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | JAGO (PADDY CONSTANTINE), JESS (DREW BARRYMORE), MILLY (TONI COLLETTE) AND KIT (DOMINIC COOPER)

 

The movie is shot oddly and it races through the back story at the start and is quite jumpy, Cath pointed it out immediately when the movie finished, it bugged her. The third act of the movie is the saving grace though, once Jess has her outburst with Milly the movie moved where predictably we know it will but it was where the movie needed to go. It struggles at this point to remain away from the sentimental but how does a cancer movie avoid sentimental? It does not, especially with this version of friendship. But these sentimental scenes at the “end of days” so to speak (I hope that is not considered a spoiler) are what BEACHES was all about, it is meant to be that lifelong love returned and visited, that flashback into joy and regret and it is supposed to hug us at the same time it rips our heart out.

 

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MISS YOU ALREADY | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | JESS (DREW BARRYMORE) AND MILLY (TONI COLLETTE)

 

The movie does do the cancer part incredibly well, some may say too well. Collette’s portrayal as she declines is superb and Hardwicke captures some incredible moments that can be both blunt and confronting. If you know someone going through this or who has recently gone through this hell then this movie could be too much for you, I kept thinking why would you want to put this in a movie but it needs to be in a movie, it needs to be a reminder to women – GET YOUR BREASTS CHECKED or you could end up in this situation.

Breast cancer is a fucking bitch, it takes too many people and it can be detected early and in most cases dealt with. The MISS YOU ALREADY premiere was sponsored by the NATIONAL BREAST CANCER FOUNDATION OF AUSTRALIA and raised a decent amount of coin. 

Did you know: 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes and that 7 women die from breast cancer in Australia EVERY DAY!!!! 

The NATIONAL BREAST CANCER FOUNDATION OF AUSTRALIA has a goal of getting Australia to Zero Deaths by Breast Cancer by 2030 – it is achievable but will be a lot easier – click on the company name above and donate a few coin if you can, remember we are all in this crap together, every little bit helps!

 

3 Pops

 

 

Jason King is the owner and editor of Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. He is a movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict. He is a member of the Film Critics Circle of Australia and has been in the Australian movie industry for 25yrs. He loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan. All the social media links to the right and up will allow you to abuse, troll or stalk him :).

 

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