Hey, did you guys know that sometimes people get breast cancer? Well, then you know everything Lifetime's tear-jerkingly bad "Five" has to tell you, except that you should give some money to for-profit corporations that "support the fight" against it.
The commercialization of breast cancer has been around for years, in case you haven't noticed the number of things that have no business being festooned with pink ribbons (Doritos? Swiffer mops? Small animals? Really?) being covered in pink and plastered with the words "Breast cancer awareness." (By the way, a lot of these products don't really give any money to breast cancer research.) Now I'm all for people not getting breast cancer, but I have trouble naming a single other disease Americans are more aware of, except for AIDS, which is really so 90s, don't you think?
|One of the many strange pro-|
ducts that has attempted to tie
itself to breast cancer "fighting"
But breast cancer wasn't all the Lifetime marketing team had up their sleeve. As you may have seen on the talk show rounds, Alicia Keys, Demi Moore, and Jennifer Aniston were involved with this movie! What's that you say--they aren't actually in the movie? They're directing the five different segments in the movie, even though they have no business directing anything? (Except for you Demi, I give you a pass, but only for this, not for your dumb marriage choices.) Well, that's as silly as when they say "Academy Award winner Ben Affleck," because he won for co-writing "Good Will Hunting"!
But that's not all these celebrities did, they also starred in some "behind the scenes" "interviews." They basically consist of Jennifer Aniston shilling a T-shirt "designed" by her (even though it's an exact replica of a child's drawing from the movie), and Demi Moore offering this confusing, chilling advice for preventing cancer: "We know our own bodies. Just take the time to pay attention to what it's telling you." Um, really Demi? Because after my aunt beat breast cancer, she said the only time she felt sick at all was when she was going through chemo. Couldn't you at least cheerfully yell, "Go get a mammogram!!" like the lady who plays the stripper in the movie?
If you're wondering what the "short films" that surrounded all these faux-PSAs were all about (other than breast cancer), here's a quick run-down:
|Josh Holloway, shorn|
|I really can't stress enough how disappointed I am with|
Tony Shalhoub as the romantic lead in this movie. Even
a generic Lifetime guy who's sort of hot like
Sebastian Spence would have been preferred.
Patricia wears a dramatic headscarf over her bald head and says things like, "I'm a doer. Cancer doesn't happen to doers!" She holds a funeral for herself where she ends up telling off her friends, smoking a cigarette, and blabbing to her sister-in-law that her brother is cheating on her. Oh, but she doesn't really die, of course--no one in any of these movies does (except the 60s cancer mom). It ends with a pan up to the moon, then a shooting star. No, I didn't make that up.
|Cheyanne, with Amber and Trixie covered, gives her|
husband a free lap dance, just because it's so much fun
Cheyanne doesn't want to get a double mastectomy, because her hubby loves her tits so much he's named them Amber and Trixie. (I can't decide if this is brilliant or a sign that we are living in an artistic Dark Age.) But instead of seeing her struggle at going through with the surgery, all we see is his struggle. And since he's supposed to be a thug, that struggle takes place in an underground parking garage with an aluminum bat. He's showed up to hit Steve from Sex in the City in the knees, but he ends up smashing up a fire extinguisher instead and opening up about his fears about being a good husband. Keep in mind these "films" are like 15 minutes apiece, so the next--and last scene--is the husband coming home with a shaved head. (It's been established that, like any thug, he is very sensitive about people touching his hair.) She lets out the fakest laugh ever heard in a Lifetime movie, then unzips her velvet hoodie so he can kiss her mastectomy scars.
|I thought only white people got cancer!|
Now I know black people do, too
|Bob Newhart was also randomly in|
the movie. He's still workin', folks!
During the movie's half-hour of commercials or its extensive publicity campaign, no one was ever directed to donate to Susan B. Komen or any other cancer organization directly. Instead, viewers were encouraged to buy Yoplait Yogurt, whose pink lids fund mammograms (somehow), get their prescriptions filled at Walgreens because their pink caps would remind us to get mammograms (what?), and buy Jennifer Aniston's T-shirt through Ford's website (yes, the car company), a purchase she guarantees will "help researches take a giant leap towards finding a cure for breast cancer." You heard it on Lifetime first, folks. The best way to fight cancer is to buy a T-shirt for which "100 percent of the net proceeds" (whatever the hell those are) are donated. Oh, also, smoke a cigarette and marry Tony Shalhoub.