A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Miss You Already traces the friendship between two women (Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette) from their childhood in England. They have many ups and downs, and their friendship and milestones are depicted frankly -- including teenage sex (no nudity shown), drinking (sometimes too much), and some arguments. One character gets cancer, and the movie fully explores this journey, showing mastectomy scars, post-chemo vomiting, the insertion of needles, and other medical details that younger viewers may find hard to stomach. Also plenty of swearing, including "bastard," "s--t," and (sparingly) "f--k."
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Friends since childhood, Jess (Drew Barrymore) and Milly (Toni Collette) have been through many triumphs and struggles -- but the biggest of them all might just be cancer. Milly has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is crushed by the thought that she might not be there to raise her children or grow old with her husband. And, as a self-described vain person, she's afraid of losing her appeal to the opposite sex. Jess wants to be there for her lifelong friend, but she also feels guilty about good news she's received and doesn’t feel free to share. The road before the pair is rough and uneven, but they hope their friendship will allow them to overcome the worst blows.
Is it any good?
Moving, frustrating, and ultimately affecting, Miss You Already is anchored by strong performances from Barrymore and Collette. Milly and Jess feel authentically bound to each other as best friends, even as they lurch further and further apart. But the film's biggest achievement might be reframing what it means to be a cancer patient: Collette plays Milly as refreshingly brazen and openly emotional; she's not stuck with kind of saintly cliches that have afflicted previous cinematic cancer sufferers.
Some of movie's drama borders on the melodramatic (hello, Beaches!), and at times it feels like the audience is being directed to feel something specific rather than being allowed to experience their own genuine emotions. But Miss You Already is still an engaging story about lifelong friends.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the value of friendship. Is Miss You Already a realistic portrayal of friendship? How does getting older / growing up change the main characters' connection to each other? What makes for a good friendship?
The film doesn't shy away from showing what it looks like fight cancer. Is it realistic? Is all the unvarnished detail necessary? How does it serve the film?
What are some other movies about friends? How are they different from/similar to movies about romantic relationships?
- In theaters: November 6, 2015
- On DVD or streaming: March 1, 2016
- Cast: Toni Collette, Drew Barrymore
- Director: Catherine Hardwicke
- Studio: Embargo Films
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Friendship
- Run time: 112 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: thematic content, sexual material and some language
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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