I often engage in “Lifetime movie stenography” wherein I take real-time viewing notes with the goal of molding it into some kind of review with a point. You know, the way Attempted Blogger does. But I forget about the draft, I forget about the movie, and life hurtles forward.
But then I find it again and am in for a treat, the way a cat eats its own puked up kibble.
The synopsis is what snared me like an innocent hare. Hold on to your hats:
A dramatic and lighter look at breast cancer told from a single woman’s point of view. It’s the true story of Linda Dackman (Ricki Lake), following her as she tries to re-enter the dizzying dating world post-mastectomy. Dackman’s adventures in dating and her intimate and witty insights into appearance, self-image, sex and romance.
Dramatic AND lighter? Oh Lifetime, how you challenge and defy the very meaning of words and how they relate to one another. Let’s go along on this dizzying journey.
What are those monoliths behind her? Is it a… mammogram?
*REALIZATION REALM* I don’t know anything about Ricki Lake (Linda). All I know is that the name sounds “famous.” I’m pretty sure she had a talk show, but beyond that I have no idea. I don’t think this matters.
Already the music is way too cheerful for breast cancer. Linda is telling an ugly blond idiot guy, Kevin, that she doesn’t want to be in a relationship. She’s “always been in a relationship” and she “wants to know why.” Kevin is like “derrrr?” Already there are dialogue issues. It was a ridiculous break-up scene with zero drama and yet she flounces away as the opening credits roll saying “well THAT went well.”
She’s a successful art gallery curator or something, and her underlings are all “didja dump him?” Her sassy Latino male coworker who keeps calling her “chica” tells her she did the right thing. Linda is basically Dr. Cuddy from House.
“I’m doubling your clinic hours.”
We’ve switched to weird documentary interview style filming with her friend saying she dragged her to get a mammogram and she’s got microgranualization which means she’s going to a mastectomy, swiftly laying down the entire conflict in front of out very eyes. Linda laments that this is super ruining her plans to be “free and hot” (like, a fart?). But lo, a swarthy guy named Jacques comes over and wants to buy her a drink. She’s still got it!
Her doctor is hot and he’s laying down some science about her “invasive stage I cancer.” The music is weird clown music. She wants BIGGER boobs, ha ha ha. She is throwing way too much snarkasm at this problem. She’s not going to let this take over her life! She calls the Swarthy Guy! Ohhh, he’s supposed to be French! I guess “Jacques” should have given it away because his accent sure didn’t. Come on, Canada!
Now she’s getting the deets about her mastectomy. Her plastic surgeon’s office makes it looks like it’s going to cost millions of dollars and also like it was cobbled together from crap used in Minority Report, painted white.
All of a sudden Linda’s had her surgery! She wakes up and now seems to be in pity mode; much less snarkasm. Zipping through Lifetime’s plotline wormhole, she’s already whining to her bestie and trying to stuff her bra. She wants to show bestie the [already formed and unbanadaged] scar and asks if it’s ugly. Bestie says “well, it’s not pretty” and “we all have scars, but yours is just showing.” Kind of crappy. Just like this movie.
Her art gallery co-workers don’t know how to deal with her not having a boob. It’s three dudes trying to wrap their brains around how any woman can not have a boob. Pastries will surely fill the void, they think. She shows up and obviously they all act all weird and lame. She doesn’t accept their offering of pastries and goes straight into Power Woman mode– “can we get to work??”
Linda meets her bestie at a coffee shop where she is reading up on how to be a best friend to a… breast friend. She needs to feel like she’s still sexy! She needs a MAN. Bestie suggests Jacques and Linda says “I’m not into him!” Instead, she instantly cougars out and licks her lips over the young barista in the coffee shop and before you can say “but how?” they are making out in broad daylight. He goes straight for her boob and she flips out and runs straight up into her brownstone. When she feels it’s safe to come out, we switch to boob cam and as she walks down the busy city street she is practically assaulted by breasts. Breasts, everywhere! Some woman calls her out ["HEY!"] on staring at her tits! Oh, she’s dressed up like Carmen Sandiego because she’s on her way to a support group that she can’t bear to go into. There are probably some breasts in there, too.
This is getting so old, so fast. Her boss, Errol, is being supportive and paternal, telling her to buck up. All of a sudden, after all actual danger has passed, she’s finally like OMG WHAT IF I DIE??? Oh but wait.– a super hot guy has come in to buy some art! She runs right into him! His name is GUY. They are having just the worst awkward conversation. He’s weirdly aggressively awkward.
Interview with plastic surgeon who tells her she’s going to crash if she doesn’t accept the depth of what has happened to her. Next scene: she crashes.
She’s massaging her breast at Dim Sum and being a total bitch. “Easy for you to say, you have two real breasts” She’s crashing!!!!! “I need to yell, I need to massage my breast, and I don’t want to drink tea!” STORM OUT. Bestie chases her out and tells her she needs real help and to stop taking it out on her friends and family.
She sniffs out Jacques again and his accent is even worse. He is ignoring his cell phone on their date… out of politeness? NO, it’s his WIFE. He’s married noooo! She is so out of there– doesn’t even finish her wine.
NOW she’s in that support group, you bet. All these actual cancer patients are going to shame her when she bitches about her missing boob. No, they are all being very supportive. They all look like supermodel cancer patients “bald is the new blonde!” One of the cancer ladies remembers her and her “rocking Barbie doll collection” from camp! Now she has a new bestie. I’m guessing she’s going to die and it’s going to be sad for Linda. “Will you be my cancer friend?” asks Linda. Yeesh.
“My chemo is made by L’Oreal”
“She was just trying to get through it, one breast at a time” says the old bestie, interview style, and laughs like that was hilarious. Nope.
Back at work, hottie the art buyer is back and ready to FLIRT. It’s bad, people. “if you can’t think for yourself, I can’t help you.” She’s a great art dealer… and flirt…
Oh good, now she has both besties together and it’s like low-rent Sex and the City (i.e., Lifetime). They recommend she go for exes… Linda dresses like a piece of furniture. She makes out with an old flame who describes her as “the one who got away.”
The ex-sex thing is going really bad. He’s a huge douche and is about to bone her until she says “I had cancer” and he’s all thrown off his game and says “I can’t deal with this. It weirds me out.” I hope she drinks all the wine. Yeah she did.
Depresson montage. Not answering phone. Besties show up with burgers, shakes, and presents. Linda describes herself as “the elephant girl.” Jeez. Cancer bestie got her a DILDO. “Wow, I’ve never seen one of these up close before.” Haha, she says she “can’t accept it.” She says she’d never leave the house (gross). They suggest online dating. How long is this damned movie.
Internet dating montage. Mom doesn’t understand “intercom dating.” Internet date #1 says “I’m no Bob Gates.” Internet date #2 thinks a picture of the Virgin Mary is hot and that she has a nice rack. Nope. Internet date #3, Scott, orders an indulgent dessert and wins her heart. His car is a Hummer with flame details and a plate that says POWRBRKR. More like DEALBRKR.
Oh no. KEVIN from the intro wanders back into her life. He wants to have dinner with “cancer girl who dumped [him]” They skip dinner to bone and he’s a pro when it comes to gently taking clothes off. She turns the light off, but he turns it back on. Smooooth. He probably got the idea from the scene in Pay it Forward where Helen Hunt turns the light back on and makes us watch her undress burn victim Keven Spacey in a sexual manner.
Group picnic with besties and Kevin. Linda says she wants to settle for security and get married. Now he is cooking for her, muy domestico. Her besties are telling her that she needs to be powerful and independent. The “hot and free” tug is too strong. She just hates all these delicious breakfasts Kevin makes her! Kevin made breakup breakfast. I think Kevin is the real victim here.
17 more minutes.
Hot art flirty art man is somehow now playing poker with Linda and her co-workers. I don’t care if this lady ever has sex again at this point.
I’m going to make an old fashioned.