Thursday, 24 September 2015

Miss You Already preview screening film review

I went to see this on Saturday evening at a Leeds/Bradford Odeon Premier Club preview screening.

IMDB says: The friendship between two life-long girlfriends is put to the test when one starts a family and the other falls ill.

In this Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Red Riding Hood) directed film, with a screenplay by Morwenna Banks (Alien Autopsy but probably best known as the voice of Mummy Pig in Peppa Pig) starring Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense, Little Miss Sunshine) as Milly and Drew Barrymore (E.T. the extra-terrestrial, Scream) as Jess, the two friends in question. 

This is a love-story of sorts in that it is the bond of friendship between two women through everything that life can throw at them.  Best friends since childhood, Milly is self-absorbed and the sort of person that would come up smelling of roses in situations where she really shouldn't, with a perfect husband, Kit (Dominic Cooper, Mamma Mia!, Need for Speed), and two children and a high-flying career as an event organiser and Jess is a town planner, living on a houseboat with her sometimes oil rigger husband Jago (Paddy Considine, Pride, The Bourne Ultimatum), who sticks with her friend even when it is obvious that most of the time it is all about Milly and never burdens her friends with the fact that she is struggling to conceive.

Milly gets the devastating news that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer at the same time as Jess finds out that the IVF treatment she and Jago have struggled for has been successful and she decides not to tell her friend, because she does not want to tell her that her life is wonderful when hers has imploded.

It has taken me so long to be able to write this review because it was a really emotional film for me to watch and this is why I am particularly touched that my husband braved the fact that it was a cinema full of girls so that he could watch it with me. 

I am a breast cancer survivor and it was hard to watch the character of Milly trying to deal with the same feelings of helplessness, body image issues and the strain it puts on a marriage, though it was helpful in that brought everything back and made my husband and I talk about it openly in a way we couldn't have done before (it has been ten years, but it is still raw).

All the women in the theatre were crying, some inconsolably, and I can imagine that most of them were touched by this dreadful disease in some way, sadly some of them that lost a loved one to it.  Some may have been crying because they have struggled with conceiving a child and the rollercoaster this is to a woman's body and the relationship difficulties it causes.  I have a number of friends who have been through this and it, in a different way, also brings on feelings of helplessness and not being in charge of your own body.

You will no doubt see reviews saying it is too much of a chick movie and I think that they should be glad that this means that they have never had to deal with a traumatic life event of this nature, because no-one who has could be unaffected by the excellent performances of the leading ladies.

Just a word of advice though, be sure that you are ready to watch a film like this if you have had a history with cancer or infertility, because it may take a long time to recover from the barrage of emotions it could unleash.  Oh, and take lots of tissues and a bottle of water for dehydration.

Still of Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette in Miss You Already (2015)

Tagline: When life falls apart, friends keep it together.                                            7.5/10

#MissYouAlready  #DrewBarrymore  #ToniCollette

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