This is one of those rare, full-on chick flicks that keeps enough reality to make it accessible for a broader audience. Like another in this rare group, In Her Shoes, the characters are far from perfect and the story remains just the right side of believable, even as it tackles the biggest of issues: life and death.
While the undeniable talents of Toni Collette (Krampus) and Drew Barrymore (Whip It) sell this piece, Hardwicke’s (Twilight) direction of Banks’ raw script made it all a reality. Her focus on the lack of angst, the humor in tragedy and frustration, and the mess that life can often be brings a recognizable reality to it all.
Unsurprisingly, the two main men, Dominc Cooper (The Lady in the Van) and Paddy Considine (Macbeth), are made incidental in many ways. They are not maligned or made to appear wanting, but neither does their place in the lives of these women seem entirely central. As the wrongly targeted gender watching this, I do have to say that it reflects poorly on relationships generally, but not on the bonds of friendship.
Focus of the tale aside, because it is entirely fair within its genre and intent, the film is effective and affecting and worth your time. I came to it for the actors, but was happily surprised by the complexity and draw of the story.