Packing such subject matters as friendship, breast cancer and problematic pregnancy into one film, Catherine Hardwicke’s Miss You Already is a resolutely female experience. And with a script by Morwenna Banks, based on her own radio play, it’s also a sassy, bravely optimistic take on the Big C.
To be sure, Banks’ screenplay does afford generous roles to the men in the women’s lives, warmly embodied by Dominic Cooper and Paddy Considine. But it also prescribes the occasional stupid behaviour for them that’s hardly on the same wavelength as their better halves. Come to think of it, even the women’s friendship suffers at the hands of the capricious, overly upbeat writing, appearing unbalanced and arbitrarily broken.
Holding things together as the movie struggles to bridge the gap between its Hollywood production values and its low-key London drama is the ever-reliable Toni Collette, whose nuanced performance – playing someone navigating chemotherapy with her children, having to shave her hair or breaking down at a terminal diagnosis – is cut most devastatingly short. Caught between competing stories of friendship and cancer, Miss You Already skimps on substance, though it does pack an emotional punch.
Miss You Already | Directed by Catherine Hardwicke (UK 2015) with Toni Collette, Drew Barrymore. Starts March 31.