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SYNOPSIS: Jess (Drew Barrymore) and Milly (Toni Collette) have been best friends since childhood. Their friendship is put to the test as Jess struggles to have a much longed-for baby, and Milly finds out she has breast cancer. Explores the ups and downs of close female friendship.

Review by Louise Keller:
Just like Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey in Beaches, Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette are best friends, who embrace the highs and lows of their emotionally complex lives and loves. It's a rich, warm and moving chick flick with an upbeat slant that will make you laugh as well as cry, as it celebrates the special bond girlfriends share. But it never reaches the heights of Beaches. Nonetheless, Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke has captured the spirit of the girls' relationship, complete with the life-affirming ups and devastating downs.

After a brief opening sequence in which a heavily pregnant Jess (Barrymore) is struggling to cope with the demands of labour, the film flits back to the day when she and Milly (Collette) meet in school. We glimpse a snapshot of their close relationship through the years as they share pivotal first moments in their lives: first kisses, first sexual experiences and first taste of adult life with their respective partners (Paddy Considine, Dominic Cooper).

As Milly juggles family life with two young children, Jess struggles to conceive. Everything changes when Milly visits her doctor. Getting drunk, working how to tell her spouse and even more importantly her children, is the next challenge. None of this is maudlin: there's a happy, togetherness vibe as all of this occurs, including the trip to the wigmaker. It is all about allowing the sense of humour to help form the glue to keep the family unit together. The strain on the relationship between Jess and Milly increases: Milly no longer feeling attractive sexually. Meanwhile Jess's plans to conceive are put on hold while she becomes Milly's main support system. We inwardly groan as Jess's moment of happiness is spoilt by Milly's despair.

Barrymore and Collette are great together - we can believe they are best friends. Watch for the sequence in which Milly and Jess take a roadtrip to the Scottish moors late at night after a disastrous birthday party. Everything comes to a head: Milly's floundering marriage and Jess's dismay at Milly's choices.

While the film belongs to Barrymore and Collette, Considine (as the loving husband prepared to make sacrifices) and Cooper (the husband unable to provide what his ailing wife needs) offer strong support.

It's a relationship rollercoaster ride - anyone who has ever had a best friend will relate to this.

Pubished February 18, 2016

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(UK, 2015)

CAST: Drew Barrymore, Dominic Cooper, Toni Collette, Paddy Considine, Jacqueline Bissett

PRODUCER: Christopher Simon

DIRECTOR: Catherine Hardwicke

SCRIPT: Morwenna Banks


EDITOR: Phillip J. Bartwell

MUSIC: Harry Gregson-Williams


RUNNING TIME: 112 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 15, 2015



DVD DISTRIBUTOR: EOne Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: February 18, 2016

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