The Hot Flashes

 
(i)

 

Older women may still have game, but comedy drops the ball.
  • Review Date: July 12, 2013
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 99 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The Hot Flashes crew proves that older women can still get in shape and play a sport they love. They don't shy away from the court just because their bodies don't look like they did back in high school. They're also a diverse group, and they end up supporting each other despite their many differences. Ultimately they show that teamwork and friendship can lead to success on and off the court.

Positive role models

All of the women in the Hot Flashes change in positive ways throughout the movie -- growing more confident, physically fit, supportive of each other, and happy with themselves. Together, they make a difference not in just in one another's lives, but also in the overall health of the women of their hometown.

Violence

Some on-court fouls.

Sex

One scene of a man and woman committing adultery (no nudity, but there's thrusting and moaning). A woman admits that she hooked up with another woman's husband (then boyfriend) in high school, and a teenage girl is revealed to be more sexually experienced than she lets people believe. Lots of sex jokes -- like, "why buy the pig when you can have the sausage for free?," "if you'd eaten more of Mr. Rosales and less of Mr. Goodbar he wouldn't have cheated," "I have a non-existent gag reflex," and more.

Language

Language isn't constant but includes "f--k," "bulls--t," "slut," "bitch," "lardass," and lots of insults about plastic surgery, weight, and age. A teen girl makes gay jokes about a closeted adult basketball player and accuses her of "copping a feel."

Consumerism

Good Morning America and its anchor, Robin Roberts, are featured in the movie.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Roxie is known for her pot-infused baked goods, and her husband smokes a bong on camera. Clementine smokes cigarettes. Grown-ups drink at dinner or to unwind in a bath. The ladies celebrate at a bar and drink to excess one night.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Hot Flashes is a comedy about a group of women nearing 50 that challenges their local high school's girls' basketball team for a series of benefit games. But the movie is more of a mature "menopause" comedy (hence the title) than a standard sports movie. The jokes can get raunchy; while there's only one sex scene (no nudity, but some thrusting/moaning), there are lots of references to sex and sexual identity (one of the women is in the closet). Language is frequent ("s--t," "f--k," "bitch") but not in every scene, and the ladies (and their husbands) indulge in alcohol, cigarettes, and even marijuana (one of the characters is known for baking with pot). On the bright side, it's always good for women of a certain age to prove they've got game.

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What's the story?

Beth Humphrey (Brooke Shields) is the proud mother of Jocelyn (Charlotte Grant), a Texas high school basketball champ. When Beth discovers that her late friend's mobile mammogram clinic has to close, she decides that she's going to find a way to save it. After remembering her own basketball glory days, Beth approaches a group of other women nearing 50 who were on the same state championship team 30 years earlier: sexy divorcee Clementine (Virginia Madsen), closeted car dealer Ginger (Daryl Hannah), pot-loving biker Roxie (Camryn Manheim), and widowed mayor Florine (Wanda Sykes). Their reunited team, called THE HOT FLASHES, challenges the high school squad to a set of charity games -- and, in the process, rediscovers the importance of friendship.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

If not for the swearing and the pot jokes, The Hot Flashes would be exactly the sort of feel-good, feminist-lite comedy that would air on Lifetime. In fact, the women's cable network is even referenced in the comedy (by the Hot Flashes' volunteer coach, comedic actor/stunt man Mark Povinelli)). On TV, the movie's cliched jokes about menopause, nearing 50, and dealing with sagging body parts, would have been expected and appropriate, but in a feature film they get old faster than you can say "hot flash."

There are a few positives to the movie -- the lesson the women teach the girls about tolerance (one of the younger girls makes gay jokes about Ginger), the way the older women come into their own and stop bickering, and how Beth learns to value herself enough to kick her cheating husband to the curb. Still, despite the occasional laugh, this is a comedy more likely to leave you cold than burning with a need to ever see it again.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can discuss how The Hot Flashes compares to other sports movies. Do you think this movie is different because it deals with women instead of men?

  • The movie portrays recreational drug use by adults nearing 50. Parents: What conversation can you have with your teens about the effects of drinking and drugs?

  • How do the older women resolve and deal with their differences? How do their friendships compare to those of the girls on the high school team?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 12, 2013
DVD release date:August 13, 2013
Cast:Brooke Shields, Daryl Hannah, Virginia Madsen
Director:Susan Seidelman
Studio:Vertical Entertainment
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Sports and martial arts, Friendship
Run time:99 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:some sexual content and drug use

This review of The Hot Flashes was written by

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