Starring: Brooke Shields, Daryl Hannah, Wanda Sykes, Eric Roberts
Release Date: Now Playing In Select Theaters & On VOD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
An unlikely basketball team of unappreciated middle-aged Texas women, all former high school champs, challenge the current arrogant high school girls’ state champs to a series of games to raise money for breast cancer prevention. Sparks fly as these marginalized women go to comic extremes to prove themselves on and off the court, and become a national media sensation.
‘The Hot Flashes’ tells the story of Beth (Brooke Shields) as she hits fifty and begins to experience menopause. She is married to the post master of the town, her daughter is on the basketball team and has just made it to the championships and everything in her family’s world is well, but everything in hers is changing. As it begins to feel like everything she knew about her life is rapidly changing, she decides to try to jump back into familiar territory and try to relive her days as a star basketball player as a way to help support a good cause in the town that she can’t help but feel partially responsible for getting shut down. But first she needs to find a team, and a way to get on the court. She gathers a ragtag group of fellow star players in their generation and they form a team which they dub The Hot Flashes and next thing you know, they are in training to get on the court and take on the championship high school team, which just happens to include her daughter.
While the general basis of the film is not something I’m too familiar with, I was surprised to find that this was still a fairly enjoyable and amusing film. It certainly had moments that far surpassed others, but it has heart, humor and a good story to tell, and it pulls it off competently for the most part. Aside from Brooke Shields, there are a number of familiar faces present. Eric Roberts plays the role of Beth’s husband; while some of the other middle-aged woman Beth recruits to join her team includes the likes of Wanda Sykes, Daryl Hannah and some other familiar faces you are likely to recognize. The cast is well selected, some moments are truly hilarious and while it does at times feel like it’s dragging a bit, and some of the dialogue can feel a bit like overkill, it’s a fun film, and certainly one women in their 40s-60s are likely to enjoy more than the likes of someone such as myself who doesn’t really relate to the subject material for the most part.
The most powerful element of this movie was the character of Roxie (Camryn Manheim)in my opinion, who really brought some of the best moments, including a number of hilarious encounters with others getting tastes of her cleverly named marijuana baked goods such as Mary Jane Mud Pie and a couple of other fun ones. Daryl Hannah was almost unrecognizable, and I honestly didn’t even realize it was her until far later. I must give her credit for one truly amazing performance that is sure to go unrecognized by many. She is a truly versatile actress and is quite impressive in the role of Ginger, the in the closet lesbian who everyone already knows about, but no one speaks of.
While ‘The Hot Flashes’ isn’t a film I would insist on rushing out and making a point of catching immediately, it’s certainly a heartwarming and amusing tale that I’m sure many will enjoy. If you come across it, it might be worth your time to check it out.
‘The Hot Flashes’ is now playing in select theaters, and is also available on Video On Demand from Vertical Entertainment.