Jess Commons | Deputy Editor | Thursday, 24 September 2015

Drew Barrymore And Toni Colette Answer Your Friendship Problems

Drew Barrymore And Toni Colette Answer Your Friendship Problems

The Debrief: Because which two grown ups could possibly make better agony aunts?

When I went to see Miss You Already, the new Toni Colette and Drew Barrymore film about a friendship tested by cancer, they left little tissues on the seat for the viewers. ‘Hahaha, tissues because it’s a woman’s “weepie”’ said one woman and we all laughed at how the film company thought we couldn't control ourselves in a tearjerker.

An hour in though, things were another story. It started over in the bottom right hand corner of the screening room; a little sniffle, and before long everyone, including the handsome hipster 20-something chap next to me, were shaking with  sobs. It was carnage. In fact. I haven’t cried that much at a film since Titanic came out. And I was nine.

‘I mean, they’re very different movies…’ says Toni Colette when I tell her and Drew Barrymore how their film’s managed to beat Jack and Rose in my own personal sob stakes. ‘Well, I guess they are both love stories… And who doesn’t love Jack and Rose?’ Says Drew brightly.

The film is about two women who’ve been friends since school. There’s the party-loving, sass-tastic PR lady Jess who's got a rock star husband, two great kids and a house I’d give my last tampon to live in, and Millie, the earthy do-gooder who lives on a houseboat and sees the good in everyone. When Jess gets breast cancer, their friendship is tested. ‘They go through selfishness and disconnect and tough love and hard stuff; this film says it all about what a long term friendship goes through,’ says Drew.

Since we’ve grown up watching Drew and Toni and they both seem like excellent people, we decided to use them as our agony aunts to answer the questions you guys have been searching for on The Debrief about friendship. Here’s their answers to solve all your woes.

How do I deal when my best friend is moving away?

Toni: It’s so easy to travel these days. You can hop on a plane, email communication has never been easier. It definitely doesn’t mean it has to be the end of a friendship!
Drew: Definitely. I think someone who lives down the street takes the same amount of effort. You need to make plans. The best thing to do with long distance is plan a trip. It can be easy and inexpensive.
Toni: Yeah, you guys just need to hang out and be dags together! (Turns out this is an Aussie word for ‘being a bit of a character’) I think it’s good to have plans. It make life exciting to know that there’s something coming up.

What do I do when I don’t like my friend’s boyfriend/girlfriend?

Toni: Oooooh. I am TERRIBLE in that scenario. I don’t think you can be dishonest. But, if they are really in love with that person and that person’s special to them you kind of just have to take a deep breath and put one foot in front of the other. Then when you break up you go ‘OH THANK GOD’.

How do I tell my best friend she’s upsetting me?

Toni mimes slapping Drew in the face.
Drew: Yeah be physically abusive. No. When my friends have had to tell me things in my life like this it made me want to cry. It made me feel stubborn. It made me feel angry and then ultimately you realize that they care enough…
Toni:…To tell you the truth.
Drew: It’s like they’re taking the time and the effort and the gift of that puts you in your place.
Toni: They know you and love you and want you to be the best person.

How do I make friends in a new city?

Drew: It’s weird because I don’t get the whole social media aspect of it.
Toni: It’s a different time! People live these ostracized dislocated lives where they feel like they have friendships with someone they never see. I think you’ve got to be physically in the same place to really connect.
Drew: Find the dot!
Toni: I don’t understand what that means.
Drew: There’s those apps and wait. What are they?
( I work out she’s on about Happn and explain what it is)
T: So you find someone on there then meet them somewhere in real life? Like face to face instead of Facetime? It’s a weird old world.

How can I tell if my friend is a bad friend?

Toni: Someone who doesn’t listen is a telltale sign. Someone that is talking the whole time and you don’t really get to say much.
Drew: You’ve got to trust your gut too. If it doesn’t feel right…

How do I deal when I can’t begin to relate to what my friend is going through?

Toni: Just be the way you always have been. People try and overcompensate and be something of a saintly figure if someone’s going through some serious. If you were going through cancer you would just want your friends to be the exact same.
Drew: Never make someone feel like they have to ask; you’re just there.

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

Things You Only Know If Your Mum's Had Breast Cancer

‘My Best Friend Got Breast Cancer, And I Didn’t Know How To Deal With It’

The Weird Places Your Relationship With Your Mum Can Go When She Has Cancer

Follow Jess on Twitter @Jess_Commons

Tags: Friend Ranting And Raving