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Breast Men

HBO // R // October 30, 2001
List Price: $14.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Brian R. Boisvert | posted February 2, 2002 | E-mail the Author
The Movie:
BREAST MEN (1997) is a made-for-cable comedy/drama (that is "basically a true story, slightly augmented") starring David Schwimmer (Friends) and Chris Cooper (American Beauty, Matewan). They play two plastic surgeons who were early leaders in the field of breast implants. The story traces their discoveries, developing medical practice, successes, failures, and personal crises from the 1960s through the 1980s.

Although the title and cover are intentionally titillating (if you'll pardon the pun), this is not the juvenile teen comedy that you might expect. Instead, it's a pretty interesting docudrama about the early pioneers in breast enhancement and the problems (both in terms of finances and professional respect) that they faced. I thought that the story was intriguing and both of the lead actors did a wonderful job. Chris Cooper can always be counted on to put in a great performance, but I was pleasantly surprised by David Schwimmer. Although he has a few "Ross moments" in the film where all you can think of is his character on Friends, I thought he did a very good job overall with some relatively challenging material. Kudos should also go to the make-up department - they manage to realistically age both characters throughout the film without appearing obvious or gimmicky.

The Picture:
This is a decent transfer from HBO Home Video. The picture is a bit softer than I expected and it does betray its made-for-TV nature at times, but it is perfectly acceptable. I noticed no digital artifacts or other distractions. The film is presented in the original 4:3 aspect ratio in which it was filmed and broadcast.

The Sound:
BREAST MEN is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround. The soundtrack is not as crisp or aggressive and a modern theatrical film, but is adequate for the material. Dialog is firmly centered and always easy to understand. Occasionally, ambient sounds (passing traffic, etc.) are used to create a decent-sized soundstage. A Spanish mono track is also provided.

Special Features:
There are no extras on this DVD, except for the usual cast/crew biographies. Subtitles are available in English, Spanish, and French.

Final Thoughts:
BREAST MEN is a film that is both well made and entertaining. It definitely kept my interest throughout the entire running time. Although very reasonably priced, the film itself may not hold up to many repeat viewings, but is definitely worth checking out at least once. Recommended as a rental or very inexpensive purchase.

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