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Non-Review Review: Miss You Already

It is very difficult to produce a film about cancer that does not seem cloying or cynical. As a narrative device, cancer can often feel like a conscious attempt to manipulate the audience’s sentiment. It is an illness which means a lot to a lot of people, and which prompts a whole host of strong feelings among those who have lived with it and those who have known those close to them who lived with it. It is very difficult to properly calibrate a film about cancer so that it doesn’t feel like a short cut to audience empathy and sympathy.

Miss You Already walks a very fine line. It trips across that line on more than a few occasions, tripping over into the stock clichés of the “life-affirming cancer film.” There are emotional montages that capture and contrast the reality of life with and without cancer; there are familiar pop songs laid over sequences of characters coping with tremendous personal stress; there is the concious self-aware manipulation of footage in such a way as to visually underscore the passage of precious time or the pace of life.

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There are some storytelling decisions that do feel a little too clever and a little too shrewd, a very obvious attempt to provide optimistic symmetry to the mortality that nestles at the heart of the film. Miss You Already feels almost too conscious of itself at certain points, too aware of the audience to which it plays. The film works best when it ignores the familiar structuring, when it avoids trying to offset the morbid material with something a little lighter. Although occasionally smothered by familiar story beats, there are moments of humanity here.

It is to the credit of the two lead performers that those moments of humanity still shine through. Drew Barrymore is charming and charismatic in the role of narrator and witness, but the film belongs to Toni Collette. Collette anchors the film, proving a weight and emotional centre that is occasionally obscured by its recognisable structure. Miss You Already doesn’t quite work, but Collette’s performance gets it a lot closer than it might otherwise.

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“Miss You Already” Fundraising Preview for Irish Cancer Society, 21st September

On September 21st, Entertainment One will hold a very special charity fundraising preview screening of Miss You Already, starring Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette, in Light House Cinema with all profits going to benefit Irish Cancer Society’s Paint it Pink campaign.

The event will begin at 6pm and promises to be a wonderful ladies’ evening out with a West Coast Cooler reception beforehand and goodie bags for everyone courtesy of Boots. There will be lots more surprises on the evening so make sure you don’t miss out on this opportunity to see the film before it opens in cinemas on September 25th. Guests are reminded to drink alcohol responsibly.

Tickets can be purchased from https://missyoualready.eventbrite.ie and cost €25 per ticket including goodie bag and pre-screening reception, a special ‘best friends’ double ticket early bird offer is available for €45. The event is for over 18’s only.

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