HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Miss You Already
HTS Overall Score:71
If you can keep a dry eye in “Miss you Already” you’re a better man than I. However that wet eye syndrome is accompanied by a frustrating sense of being beaten down with drama and misery in a futile attempt to create a lasting impression on the “womance” between Toni Collette and Drew Barrymore. Barrymore’s English boyfriend, Jago (Paddy Considine), even asks her “No more drama, Alright?” to which Barrymore immediately promises him so. I don’t know why, but that perfectly describes my reaction to the sob story movie about friendship and death and tragedy directed by the same woman who directed “Twilight” and “Little Red Riding Hood”. In fact the movie is nothing BUT drama, but drama that is handled with such a heavy hand that you feel exhausted and worn out by the time the nearly two hour film ends.
Jess (Drew Barrymore) and Milly (Toni Collette) have been best friends since childhood. Jess was an American transplant to England, where Milly took pity on the foreigner and the two became inseparable ever since. They did everything together. They kissed their first boy together, shared intimated stories, the whole works. Jess was there for Milly’s children being born, her marriage to hunky roadie turned record producer, Kit (Dominic Cooper), while Milly has been there to comfort Jess when she and Jago are unable to conceive. It’s the perfect womance until the terrifying happens. Milly is diagnosed with breast cancer. While terrifying, this is a beatable disease and Milly puts her heart and soul into chemo therapy while Kit and Jess do their best to pick up the slack around the house. All is going well until Milly is forced to undergo a mastectomy (otherwise known as removing the breasts themselves to make sure the cancer doesn’t come back).
Torn up and feeling like she is losing herself, Milly’s downward spiral into depression spirals out of control. In an effort to make herself feel “whole” once more, she forms a sexual liaison with bartender, Ace (played by lead singer of “The All American Rejects” Tyson Ritter, who also does some of the soundtrack for the film) and basically goes off the deep end trying to live life to the fullest. At the same time, Jess and Jago are FINALLY able to conceive after going to a fertility clinic, but Jess and Milly are so much at odds now Jess can’t bear to tell her best friend the good news. If this wasn’t enough sadness and bad luck, Milly receives the biggest ultimatum yet by life. Her cancer has spread to the brain and at this point there is nothing to do but wait for the inevitable.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=66306[/img]“Miss You Already” feels a lot like another story of personal tragedy and cancer. In fact it feels like a female version of the movie “50/50”, which had a refreshing take on a person’s dealings with this deadly deadly disease. Bits of “Miss You Already” are great, especially with how Jess and Milly interact with each other. They’re those people that just can’t be apart from the other for very long and their friendships intertwine into every aspect of their lives. Milly is undergoing this incredible tragedy and Jess has her own sadness to deal with in regards to her infertility. The two just magically have this way of being there for the other woman no matter the cost. However the film is also intentionally frustrating as it documents how far someone will go for the other person. The other person being insanely vain, selfish and self-serving during her pain. You end up yelling at the screen when Milly is doing something dumb, especially considering her whole family is aching with her and trying their very best to be there for her.
The main frustration for the movie happens to be the slapdash way in which tragedy is displayed. You’re not only privy to Milly’s agony, but BEATEN over the head with it nonstop. Every facet of the movie is directed in such a way that you are being manipulated (very bluntly I might add) the entire time. It’s like every scene is directed with the instruction of “this is meant to make the audience feel sorry for you”. To make it worse by the hour mark I really felt like the movie had to come to a close because it had been SO long, but then I realized we had a whole HOUR left of the film! By the time the inevitable ending finished I was sobbing like a baby, but just thankful the movie was over with. I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me, being that the director was the same woman who directed “Red Riding Hood” and “Twilight”. That same sappy, heavy handed form of directing translated to “Miss You Already” and robbed it of much of the goodwill the audience could give it.
Rated PG-13 for thematic content, sexual material and some language
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=66314[/img]The 2.40:1 AVC encoded Blu-ray looks very nice and very sharp in clarity. The film carries a wonderfully rich and well saturated color palate with every primary seeming to pop off the screen. Red chili peppers shine with a deep maroon color, blue skies are so brilliant you feel like you could touch them, and the green of Jess’s outfits is deep and wonderfully saturated as a forest. The neon lights of the bar where Kip throws her a birthday party glimmer against the dull looking stone walls of London. Clarity is razor sharp for the long shots, but I noticed something weird. Toni Collette and Drew Barrymore seem to have a softening filter applied to their faces as they appeared overly smooth. The only conclusion I can draw is that they tried to make the women look younger, much the same way they did with Milla Jovovich in the later “Resident Evil” series. Blacks are deep and inky with no signs of being TOO black (crush) and contrast levels are well balanced with solidly pink facial tones.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=66322[/img]“Miss You Already” feels like a giant pop music video with bits of a tragedy thrown in, and that’s pretty much how the 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio track is as well. The film is littered with 90’s pop music throughout as the girls sing to REM and “All American Rejects” chimes in (most likely due to the fact that the leader singer plays the sexual “fling” for Milly). Surrounds get blasted with the music and the LFE pounds away with a nice mid bass beat. That LFE drifts off for the more dialog and drama heavy moments of the movie, but it does add some mild weight to doors, breaking bottles and cars when needed. Dialog is strong and clean, with no signs of imbalance with the music or the more dramatic parts of the film. When the music is not playing the track is definitely forward heavy, with a majority of the weight in those front 3 channels, but surrounds do place some nice ambient effects in the sides, such as the dripping of rain on the London houses or the creaking of a Taxi tire just outside a bar.
• Deleted Scenes with Optional Director Commentary
• "With Love: Making Miss You Already" Featurette
• "There's a Place" Music Video by The All-American Rejects
• On-Set Selfies
• Filmmaker Commentary
• A Director's Lookbook of Milly's Party
“Miss You Already” is a bit too heavy handed and disturbingly emotionally manipulative for me to really give it a solid recommendation. There are some really good portions of the movie that made me think that I would enjoy it more than I did, but the afore mentioned problems really lowered my enjoyment factor. There are so many other better movies that deal with cancer and friendship for this to be anything other than a late night rental if you REALLY want an emotional beating. Audio and video are quite good for the Blu-ray and the extras are pretty substantial. I would like to say it’s worth a watch, but ultimately I just have to recommend skipping it.
Starring: Drew Barrymore, Toni Collette, Dominic Cooper
Directed by: Catherine Hardwicke
Written by: Morwenna Banks
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Runtime: 112 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: March 1st 2016
Buy Miss You Already On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Skip it
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