Many films about male bonding and friendships are road trips or stories with men and an immediate crisis on a playing field or a battlefield. Think of war movies such as From Here To Eternity, Saving Private Ryan or even 300. But, when it comes to emotional intimacy in a male friendship, I can't think of many modern films that can match the emotional depth of the central male friendship in Kings Row (1942) directed by Sam Wood. From little boyhood to young manhood, we see a friendship that endures romantic disappointments, death of loved ones, poverty and physical disability. That unapologetically intimate, strong male friendship puts a tear in my eye. I wonder if Ben Kenigsberg of Variety would classify that as a "weepie." Did he imply that a tight friendship of over 20 years with emotional intimacy and a heartbreaking physical challenge is women's stuff? I wish there were more films today like Kings Row or the 2006 French film, My Best Friend, directed by Patrice Leconte.
Dominic Cooper, so fabulous as the sexy and lovable Dakin in History Boys and seen as Howard Stark in the Agent Carter TV series on ABC, plays the devoted, loving Kit.
That's why I feel Mom and I would have one really deep discussion if we saw Miss You Already and talked about it over a bite to eat afterwards. She took a few steps through the emotional turf of this movie back in the 1970s, long before there was a Breast Cancer Awareness month in America.
I like the fluidity Hardwicke gave to her film. It's a slick package. The camera moves, the editing is brisk yet not overdone. There's not a MTV music video style of editing with cuts just for the sake of cuts every three to five seconds. However, we do hear a soundtrack that calls to mind the days when MTV did play music videos. Miss You Already is visually pleasing with a warm color palette. Hardwicke had similar camera fluidity in one of her earlier films that I totally dig -- and one showed the range of the late Heath Ledger. Based on a true Southern California story, the film is 2005's Lords of Dogtown. It followed the hot skateboarding craze in 1970s Venice, California and some low-income teen dudes who gained celeb status for their skateboarding skills. I'm from Los Angeles. Australian Ledger mastered a Southern California accent and attitude as Skip, the skateboard designer and surfer dude.
Collette did some excellent work and Barrymore is at her most appealing in this mature role. There's also a funny, tasty turn by Jacqueline Bisset as Milly's blonde soap opera TV star mother, a celebrity who leans on Jess for emotional support and guidance.