FIVE (Lifetime) Advance Review

FIVE (Lifetime)

Lifetime premieres its much anticipated movie, FIVE, tonight at 9:00 pm ET. Five is, as you may have guessed, five different stories revolving around a character with breast cancer. Although each woman is uniquely different and they each go through different personal struggles, the story arc is held together in a satisfyingly simple way.

Five begins with the story of Charlotte (Ginnifer Goodwin), a young mother who is suffering from breast cancer on the day of the first moon walk in July of 1969. Although the story is Charlotte’s, it is told through the eyes of her young child, Pearl (Ava Acres), to whom no one wants to tell the truth. The Charlotte story was directed by Demi Moore. There were other stars such as Annie Potts who played Charlotte’s mother and Josh Holloway, who was almost unrecognizable as Charlotte’s husband. I thought this story, especially the way it is told and the viewpoint, was very poignant and lingered with me. Ava Acres who plays young Pearl gave an outstanding performance.

The second story centers around Mia (Patricia Clarkson) a woman who develops Stage 4 cancer late in life. Just when she thinks she has lost everything, she receives a little hope. Mia’s story was directed by Jennifer Aniston. This portion used a backward storyline that was very effective in flushing out the despair Mia went through and her crumbling life. Patricia Clarkson is at her best at her “funeral.” Tony Shaloub also stars as Mia’s husband, Mitch. Kathy Najimy plays Mia’s good friend, Rocky.

The third story involves Cheyanne (Lyndsy Fonseca), a stripper who discovers she has breast cancer and has a difficult time coming to terms with the fact that she could lose both her breasts, especially when her husband has fondly given them names. In this part, we learn a little bit more about the common arc that is bringing all of the stories together. Cheyanne’s story was directed by Penelope Spheeris and it had quite a few touching moments. Cheyanne’s husband was played by Taylor Kinney (Vampire Diaries).

The fourth story centers around Lili (Rosario Dawson), a high powered attorney that barely has time for her family, and who is suddenly stilled by her diagnosis. Along side her, defiantly, are her sister (Tracee Ellis Ross) and her mother (Jenifer Lewis), both of whom refuse to leave her side no matter how hard she pushes them away. Jeffery Tambor makes an appearance as a man in a similar situation. Lili’s story was directed by Alicia Keys. I found this story to be the most emotional for me.

The final story is that of Pearl (Jeanne Tripplehorn), an oncologist who develops breast cancer herself. She finds that she is in a position that is all too familiar and that she has to do something that she knows must be done, but she does not know if she has the strength to do it. Pearl’s own doctor is none other than Bob Newhart. Pearl’s story was directed by Patty Jenkins.

Five is very moving. I enjoyed the five different stories all rolled into one plot. It reminded me of another Lifetime movie, If These Walls Could Talk, from 1996. Although Five does not deal with five generations as that movie did, it does deal with at least two generations and, more importantly, women from all walks of life. I think everyone should watch this movie. Aside from some statistics delivered by Pearl in the only narration in the movie, Five is not over the top and in your face about breast cancer. It is more like a subtle draw that lingers and makes you continue to think about it.

I encourage you to watch Five tonight on Lifetime at 9 pm ET. You will not be disappointed and will enjoy the many actors and actresses that gave their time to this movie. If you watch it, please come back here and tell me what you thought.

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