Hot Take: Miss You Already proves passing the Bechdel Test and tugging at your emotions with a cancer storyline doesn’t guarantee a movie being passably entertaining.
After the first 60 minutes or so of Miss You Already, there’s a decent chance you won’t care about the characters you get to know. Neither Milly (Toni Collette) nor Jess (Drew Barrymore) come across as interesting, funny or mildly entertaining. By the time the film reaches the third act, the emotional investment might not be there to make the final 30 minutes as impactful as they might be if you cared for the characters.
At the heart of the film is the lifelong friendship of Milly and Jess. They’ve done everything together. And that’s about it. It’s really the only thing consistent in the movie montage recap of their friendship to open the film that establishes any realism to it at all. There’s no evidence the two share any real interests outside of the happenstance of companionship.
The fatal flaw of Miss You Already is the movie is selling a hollow friendship as a real one. Near the end of the second act, before Milly finds out she is definitely going to die, she unravels. Her husband no longer shows her affection due to her double mastectomy, she begins an affair with another man and she becomes extremely bitter towards her closest acquaintances. She blows up at a surprise birthday party and runs away dragging Jess (out of what seems to be obligation) to the Moors, the location from Wuthering Heights. Once there, Milly forces Jess to sleep in a different room because, well, she said so. But it turns out Milly wants to sleep with her consort and when Jess discovers this secret, she flips out on Milly, reveals she’s been pregnant and hasn’t told Milly and, after an awkward fight, the two part. Months go by. Milly’s aggressive cancer moves into her brain and is deemed terminal. No one tells Jess (even though their husbands were best friends) and it isn’t until Milly stalks Jess that she finds out.
They immediately reconcile, of course. The rest of the movie takes you through Jess’ entering motherhood and Milly exiting and the two are there for each other throughout. It’s touching… but never devastating. And Miss You Already is the type of movie that needs to deliver devastating. It’s expected. It never gets there, unfortunately.