Heather's Television Movie Review: Five
October is currently Breast Cancer Awareness Month in an effort to honor people who have lived through it or seen a loved one deal with it. In honor of this time, Lifetime is airing the movie Five which is five short films strung together about how Breast Cancer has impacted everyone it touched. The idea might seem a bit cliche, but the execution is much better than expected.
Five mostly focused around Pearl (Jeanne Tripplehorn) and her experiences with Breast Cancer. The first short story called "Charlotte" followed Pearl as a little girl and her beloved mother Charlotte (Ginnifer Goodwin) was dying of the illness. No one in Pearl's family is telling what is going on, especially her father (Josh Holloway) who drowned his sorrows in cigarettes and alcohol instead of talking to Pearl about it. Decades later, Pearl is now married and a mother as well to a little girl. She's a Doctor in the Oncology Department who has to tell patients that they have Breast Cancer. The second story "Mia" followed a former business woman (Patricia Clarkson) who lost her money, husband and any good standing when she was told her cancer would kill her. She got a second chance at life and love in Mitch (Tony Shalhoub) when she went into remission.
The third story "Cheyanne" (Lyndsy Fonseca) and fourth "Lili" (Rosario Dawson) followed two young women who were blindsided by their new connection to the disease. High powered attorney Lili was forced to reveal her vulnerability to her family and Cheyanne was a stripper who feared her husband wouldn't love her without her breasts. The final story "Pearl" focused on the Doctor getting the Breast Cancer Diagnosis as well. She decided to rewrite history and told her daughter what she went through. How will she react to this news?
In terms of plot Five had plenty to go on, each short film packed an emotional punch as it showed how no one was immune to Breast Cancer. The "Lili" story even showcased briefly a male cancer patient was touched by the disease as well. Each story was directed by a celebrity or a director keen to tell their story. Demi Moore directed the touching "Pearl" segment which set everything in motion about a mother's undying love even as she was dying herself. Segment directors Penelope Spheeris (Cheyanne), Patty Jenkins (Pearl) and Alicia Keys (Lili) all delivered touching stories of women from different walks of life.
Sadly, the weakest segment was the Jennifer Aniston directed "Mia" one because it simply didn't seem to fit in with the rest of the series. The tone just seemed off for some reason. The bouncing back and forth between time periods was a little bit frustrating. Patricia Clarkson did a valiant effort to portray Mia's hurt, anger and confusion over the fact that she survived but had to start over again. Overall, the best segment was "Pearl" because it tied in with the first segment and helped rewriter history. Tripplehorn's scenes with Pearl's family was touching as she struggled to tell her daughter the truth about her illness. The relationship between Pearl and her daughter was the best part of the whole movie. It's just a shame that Pearl wasn't made the central focus in her own movie because there was definitely a lot more story left to tell with her.
Five premiered on October 10th at 9:00 pm on Lifetime. Check your local listings for airdates.
TV Movie Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Verdict: A touching tribute to women and Breast Cancer.