BREAST MEN (1997)

Directed By: Lawrence O’Neil

Written By: John Stockwell

Cinematography: Robert Stevens

Editor: Michael Jablow

Cast: David Schwimmer, Chris Cooper, Emily Procter, Matt Frewer, Kathleen Wilhoite, John Stockwell, Louise Fletcher, Terry O’Quinn, Lisa Marie, Amanda Foreman, Lyle Lovett, Julie McCullough, Rena Riffel, Raphael Sbarge 

Two doctors create breast implants. However, when success and money come their way, they separate and follow different paths.


An HBO original tv-movie made for cable when it came out. Using the formula of two popular actors not quite strong enough for a box office release. As the subject which you would think fills seats isn’t quite ready for the big screen. 

The film has a good handle on the subject by presenting us a story of characters who seem to have our attention and sympathies at first but then get affected by greed and sort of switch places but in the end are characters we despise.

Don’t know how exactly fact-based the film is but it stays sleazy as the characters and subject matter does. While keeping your interest. It is loosely based on fact obviously to keep it more dramatic and interesting and offer a more moralistic tale. 

As there is plenty of nudity on display which is understandable considering the subject, but obviously more under the male gaze most of the time. As well as having unnecessary sex scenes. 

As we have scenes where women offer their stories and confessions. Where we never see their face, only their breasts, as they talk.

So that it becomes more exploitive than maybe it was initially conceived or maybe that was the plan the whole time to mix the exploitive with the dramatic and offer some kind of poignancy.

As David Schwimmer’s Character goes from being a brilliant surgeon to more on the shy side and having an obsession with breasts and an idea on how to revolutionize plastic surgery on them. To begin, change by success and general greed. To where he seems to have lost his soul. When the consequences of these surgeries present themselves later and he finds no guilt within himself even when his mother is one of the people he performed the procedure on.

Chris cooper’s character at least shows having the most soul. At first not have faith in Schwimmer’s character then goes into business with him but goes their separate ways when Schwimmer feels he deserves more credit and copper’s character is more conservative and performs more for the elite. Whereas Schwimmer seems to perform for whoever as long as they can pay and alter the ethics. As They both reach cruel yet poetic justice ends.

One of the obvious problems of the film is the title says it all. How to tell this story delicately or at least tastefully and there isn’t.

As it is an interesting subject but unfortunately this story of discovery isn’t populated with worthwhile Decent characters. They are filled with characters who seem to want to do the right thing but money and success go to their heads.

In the end, it feels like a film that wants to be moralistic and a dark comedy with dramatic overtones. That unfortunately isn’t that funny and comes off as awkward and dirty.

Grade: C+

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