Movies about cancer aren’t rare. Good movies about cancer are. Think about it. Either, one of the characters is ill, but it’s left a bit by the wayside, mentioned here and there; or the whole movie is centred around the disease, but it’s more often than not romanticised. Even the hospitals. To be fair, I thought Miss You Already would be a bit too. Turns out it’s really not.
Jess (Drew Barrymore) and Milly (Toni Collette) have been friends since childhood. They’ve shared everything, from first kisses to first heartbreaks, and can’t imagine a life without the other.
So while Milly turned from a rock’n’roll chick to a serious adult with a family, with husband Kit (Dominic Cooper), a former roadie now turned successful music “something”, Jess tried to make the world a better place, and met husband Jago (Paddy Considine) while digging around in a garden.
While Jess and Jago live a bohemian life on a houseboat, desperately trying for a baby, Milly’s life seems perfect: gorgeous town-house, great career, loving husband, amazing kids. That is, until Milly’s doctor finds a mass in her breast.
Unable to cope, Milly pushes the news to the back of her mind and doesn’t tell anyone, avoiding doctor’s appointments and pretending like nothing’s wrong. But when she finally has to face the facts, everyone, starting with Jess, rallies behind her.
Thus starts the seemingly never-ending circle of cancer treatment. Milly even manages to explain chemotherapy to her kids using a power point presentation (which I wish existed).
But while Milly’s life is slowly changing, unravelling at the seams and irrevocably shifting to a point of no-return, Jess finds out she’s pregnant, and in the face of her friend’s unhappiness, can’t seem to find a time to tell her the happy news…
Miss You Already could have sugar-coated everything about cancer. Actually, it’s brutally honest. Everyone who’s lived through a friend’s or family member’s disease will understand what’s going on. They’ll remember the good days and the bad days. The sometimes short-lived relief, the crushing realisation of a sometimes inevitable death sentence.
It’s a “weepie”, as people call it; about half-way through, I was intermittently crying until the very end. It reminded me of Philadelphia in the way it handles disease. Not afraid to show someone being sick, or to hear their families raging against the world.
It’s a beautiful movie about friendship, about love. It’s a difficult movie to watch about cancer and loss. It’s a true depiction of life really.
Pictures from: shockya.com, popoptiq.com, condesnast.co.uk, moviehole.net, dailymail.co.uk, dmcdn.net