‘Miss You Already,’ ‘Breathe’ offer memorable depictions of female friendships

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For Digital First Media

Movies about the friendship between women are rare but, this week, two very different tales arrive — and both are worth a look.
“Miss You Already,” a comedy about the lifelong friendship between the cancer-stricken wild child Milly (Toni Collette) and her more responsible bestie Jess (Drew Barrymore), is a bit predictable, especially in the homestretch. But it almost doesn’t matter because Collette is such an emotionally direct performer that she makes the material seem better than it is. Another plus is that director Catherine Hardwicke (“Twilight”) doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of fighting cancer.
From Jess’ decision to help care for Milly post-surgery to the pair’s trip to the moors immortalized in “Wuthering Heights,” “Miss You” bubbles and bristles in equal measure. On Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Google, Vudu.
Just as fascinating is “Breathe,” the second film from actress-turned-director Melanie Laurent (“Inglourious Basterds”). With the movie, Laurent has come up with a beautifully nuanced look at the relationship between two teenage girls: Charlie (Josephine Japy), who’s lonely and frustrated by her continually-arguing parents, and charismatic transfer student Sarah (Lou de Laage).
But soon the pair’s closeness triggers feelings of jealousy and anger, which sets the stage for a shocker of an ending. Not since “Heavenly Creatures” has a movie so knowingly depicted how the intoxicating bonds of friendship can quickly shift into something scary and dangerous. On Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Google, Vudu.
Also New To Streaming
Flaked: “Arrested Development” standout Will Arnett stars as Chip, a Venice, Calif., slacker who, in the words of USA Today, “falls for the object of his best friend’s fascination” and does “his honest best to stay one step ahead of his own lies.” Arnett, so funny on “30 Rock,” is reason enough to check out this ten-episode series. On Netflix.
Nosferatu The Vampyre: From the great Werner Herzog comes a 1979 classic of neckbiter cinema starring a never-creepier Klaus Kinski as the title bloodsucker. Hypnotic and dreamy, “Nosferatu” is stuffed with haunting images of menacing shadows and swarming rats. And, somehow, Kinski makes the sight of the red-lipped and long-fingered Count Dracula both terrifying and poignant. Don’t miss this one. On Fandor.
Dawson’s Creek: Jump into all six seasons of the teen series from the early 2000s. Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams, James Van Der Beek and Joshua Jackson play high schoolers in the coastal town of Capeside who help each other deal with the challenges of adolescence and young adulthood. The show placed at No. 90 on Entertainment Weekly’s list of new TV Classics. On Hulu.
The Whirlpool: Niagara Falls provides the backdrop — and inspiration — for this unusual saga from 2012 about French strangers (Pierre Perrier, Agathe Feoux) who are drawn to the Falls for mysterious reasons. Soon, this unusual couple discovers they have more in common than their shared citizenship. The film was largely improvised while on location in Paris and Niagara Falls. On IndiePix Unlimited.
Heaven Knows What: A surprisingly intimate and intense drama, this hidden gem of a drama revolves around a twenty-something young woman (Arielle Holmes, playing a fictionalized version of herself) who is sinking deeper into heroin addiction. Holmes spends her days shooting up, panhandling, shoplifting energy drinks and bouncing between her boyfriend (Caleb Landry Jones) and a Brooklyn dealer (Bobby Duress). Indie helmers the Safdie Brothers make this junkie tale feel fresh and riveting thanks, in part, to the cast which is made up of both professionals and actual street people. You can’t turn away. On Netflix.
Community: The Complete Final Season: The sixth season of the cult favorite finds the gang (Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie) at Greendale Community College succeeding in their mission to save the school. But trouble arises when Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) hires an efficiency expert (Paget Brewster) to help the college run more smoothly. On Yahoo Screen.
Casino Jack: If you’re enjoying Kevin Spacey on Netflix’s “House of Cards,” check out this drama starring Spacey as Jack Abramoff, the real-life Washington lobbyist who, with his protégé (Barry Pepper), goes down hard as his schemes to peddle influence lead to corruption and murder. On Shout! Factory TV.
We’ve Been Around: In honor of “The Danish Girl,” Focus Features has partnered with the Time Inc. and The Advocate to produce a documentary series which shares previously untold histories of transgender pioneers, including trans man Wilmer Broadnax who’s best known as gospel singer Little Axe, trans man Albert Cashier who fought in the Civil War and Lucy Hicks Anderson, a woman of color who thrived during Prohibition and stood her ground to protect her marriage rights after being exposed as a transgender woman. On People.com, EW.com, Essence.com and Advocate.com.

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