Just Between Us is a story of loss, adventure and letting go while finding oneself. Actress Deanna Ortuso plays Hannah, an office worker who is only half living after the death of her sister Bee, played by Calista Fooks.
The movie begins with opening scenes depicting how mundane Hannah’s life has become, with comedic beats weaved in to relieve any pressure felt from the seriousness of losing a loved one. Such as a scene where Hannah is courtesy invited to a staff event, only to be hit in the face by a stapler moments later. How does one get hit in the face with a stapler? You’ll have to watch the movie to find out. Although, I will say it’s not the last time something hits poor Hannah in the face.
The story focuses on Hannah and her best friend Trixie, performed by Joanne Nguyen, after Hannah begins seeing Bee just days before the anniversary of her death. In true ghost style, Bee has some unfinished business which she needs help completing in order to move one. Once Hannah figures out what Bee needs, or at least what she thinks Bee needs, she and Trixie go on a wild spur of the moment road-trip in her sister’s clunky yellow Torana.
While I did find the beginning a little slow in gaining momentum, once the girls were on the road the pacing picked up and it became impossible not to fall in love with Hannah, Trixie and the ghost of Bee.
The film danced this beautiful line between touching and hilarious, which really showcased director Christopher Kay’s skill in his craft. The casting was spot on and everyone’s comedic timing was perfect. They weaved a story with joy, hilarity, and a little absurdity without losing the main focus; Hannah dealing with the loss of a sister.
Perhaps it’s because I have lost a sister and best friend in the form of my sister-in-law, but I found myself caught between tears and laughter for the entire film. When someone you love is taken from you far too early, it’s an impossible thing to deal with. Letting go or healing looks different for everyone and, in a way, these kinds of wounds never cease to ache.
I appreciated so much how Just Between Us narrated Hannah’s story of moving on. From comedic scenes like saucy Meryl and her dirty mind, getting kidnapped due to a case of misidentify, and all that face hitting to grounded moments of closure with a ghost, tense fights between best friends, and flashbacks which help remind you what really matters… Just Between Us is a must see within the Indie Australian film scene.