Sarah Chalke in Lipstick (2006)

Battle Paint

In my fondness for TV movies I have watched a few movies which tackle the subject of breast cancer and whilst "Lipstick" is not the first I have encountered which focuses on a twenty something woman the majority of them have focused on older women dealing with the cancer. But "Lipstick" is the first I have seen to tackle it in such a shall we say bubbly manner, the main character talks to the camera, there is a constant babble of chatter and a style which I will admit wasn't for me but can appreciate would work for its target twenty something audience. Yet despite that "Lipstick" is still a fantastic movie which does a marvellous job of taking the audience through the dizzying rollercoaster ride of dealing with breast cancer, the information, the choices and the emotional impact all with a sense of wit which makes it a movie you can't stop smiling at.

Life was sussed for Geralyn Lucas (Sarah Chalke - Dying to Belong), she was 27, married and with a good job and then one day in the shower she felt something wrong in her breast. And so started the whirlwind journey as she discovers she has breast cancer and faced with a mountain of information and decisions when it comes to the options, treatments as well as reconstruction options all the time accompanied by her friends and family.

Jay Harrington in Lipstick (2006)

So let me start with my one sort of negative and that is style because "Lipstick" is one of those movies which is high energy and noisy. There is narration, there is talking to the camera, there is the constant babble of chatter and a lot more which at times becomes too much. But that is too much for me and I am sure a twenty something young woman who might watch shows such as "Sex in the City" and "Ugly Betty" might find this energetic approach much easier to watch that the more dramatic approach used in other TV movies which tackle the subject of breast cancer and mastectomy.

But that is my one slight gripe as beyond that "Lipstick" is a fabulous and well written movie which does so well to take the audience through the stages of breast cancer and treatment. There is too much to cover but it highlights things such as the mountain of information there is to deal with and the difficulty of choosing what to do with no qualifications to do so. It also covers the humour of how overbearing the arrival of supportive parents can be as they descend and say "we're in this together". And there is a whole lot more all of which is dealt with in this mix of realism and humour so when Geralyn visits a plastic surgeon to discuss reconstruction afterwards she makes a humorous remark about the book of boobs she has to look through.

At the centre of this is Sarah Chalke who delivers one of her finest performances as she takes us through what is a rollercoaster ride of emotions and decisions and fears of not feeling like a woman anymore. It is because Chalke is so good at selling everything both the humour and the emotion as well as the physical aspects that you don't want to miss a scene. But Chalke is supported by a fine cast none more so than Jay Harrington who delivers an equally good performance as her husband, being there for his wife but struggling just as much with his own fears and emotions.

What this all boils down to is that "Lipstick" in many ways covers the same ground as other TV movies which tackle the subject of breast cancer. But the difference is that it has an energy and humour about it which is missing from other TV movies making it work for a younger audience.