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Maximum weeping potential: Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette deal with death and friendship in ‘Miss You Already’

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Two and a half stars

Miss You Already Toni Collette, Drew Barrymore, Dominic Cooper. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke. Rated PG-13. Opens Friday.

Miss You Already opens with a sweet, well-observed montage detailing the lifelong friendship between Milly (Toni Collette) and Jess (Drew Barrymore)—so naturally the next scene features Milly getting diagnosed with cancer. From there, the movie is a relentless tearjerker, as Milly slowly succumbs to the disease and Jess tries to cope with the inevitable loss of her best friend. Along the way, Milly has troubles with her husband (Dominic Cooper), Jess gets pregnant, and various supporting characters lend their support to Milly’s increasingly futile struggle.

The tears flow easily, but the movie doesn’t really accomplish much else, and while Collette throws herself into her performance as a dying woman, Barrymore is too lightweight to properly balance her out. Although it flirts with real darkness in a sequence examining the damage a selfish Milly does to her closest relationships, Miss You quickly heads back to safe, Hallmark-movie territory as it culminates in both a death and a birth, for maximum weeping potential.

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