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USD $1 ₱ 58.70 0.0720 June 13, 2024
June 12, 2024
Grand Lotto 6/55
252123103642
₱ 36,857,649.80
3D Lotto 9PM
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₱ 4,500.00

‘Miss You Already’ is Both Soft and Loud

The film seems to want to talk about the realities of having cancer, and having a friend with cancer.

Miss You Already often manages to be loud and soft at the same time. The film, which tackles the pretty sensitive issue of cancer and what it does to people, often matches sensitive, realistic depictions of what life is the disease is like with outsized scenes of characters partying, making fun of each other, and at times, doing very wrong things. The film doesn’t seem equipped to juggle those two very disparate sides of this story, and it ends up feeling sluggish and inconsequential.

Jess and Milly (Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette) have been best friends since they were children. They've done everything together, and though they've taken pretty different paths through adulthood, they've managed to stick together. And then Mily is diagnosed with breast cancer. Milly comes to rely on Jess throughout her treatment, especially as things get worse. Milly is made to reckon with losing a major part of herself, and Jess is there to indulge her even as her behavior becomes difficult. And their friendship is truly tested as Jess start preparing for the next major phase in her life.

It is a little tough to tell what this film is really supposed to be. It just doesn’t feel very assured in its tone. As it is about cancer, it is definitely meant to be a drama. But there are broad bits of comedy in it as well. There is certainly room for humor in a cancer patient’s life, but this film’s attempts at it feel like overcompensation for the harsh realities being depicted within. The comedic set pieces feel outsized, these brief moments of joy feeling thoroughly inorganic. There are hints of a more wry sense of humor in there somewhere, with the characters able to laugh at some of the stranger elements of getting sick. But much of that is overshadowed by this need to get a big laugh of some kind.

And it’s vital to the film that it gets it tone right. The film seems to want to talk about the realities of having cancer, and having a friend with cancer. On Milly’s side, she’s dealing with issues about how her appearance is changing, how she seems to be losing parts of herself as her body takes on the toll of treatment. On Jess’ side, she’s trying to keep her husband happy as Milly starts to take up more and more of her time, the increasingly erratic behavior forcing Jess to go along as Milly sinks into a depressive state. And these are smart, potentially provocative ideas, but they hardly get through.

The movie is just too all over the place. It tries to be too many things all at the same time. It is a mainstream laugher and an indie-tinged comedy. The set pieces are broad, but the filmmaking is intimate. There are just these parts that don’t quite work together. It also becomes increasingly difficult to believe that the two main characters are friends, with Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette existing on two completely different wavelengths. They are individually finding interesting things in their character, but they are both much less effective when the characters are actually together. Standing out in all this is Jacqueline Bissett fully committing to a mad mother character that does feel like she might have come from another movie.

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Miss You Already has a lot going for it in theory. The fact that it is a movie that features two female lead characters is noteworthy in this age of male-dominated Hollywood entertainment. But this screenplay just doesn’t have the structure to support all of these ideas. It just ends up feeling tedious, the movie going from one extreme emotion to the next, leaving little actual development in their wake. At much as the film ought to be admired for tackling issues rarely tackled in mainstream filmmaking, it just doesn’t work as a piece of cinematic entertainment.

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Miss You Already
Comedy, Drama, Romance
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3.0/5
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