Analysis Reviews

2013 Comedy, THE HOT FLASHES, is an Underrated and Hidden Gem

Hey there, Plotaholics! Bryan Tann, here.  

Hulu has been a part of my streaming life for quite some time. I remember being on Hulu at one of my many night shift jobs when I lived in New Hampshire back in the mid-2000s when there were not that many streaming services available. It was my first subscribed streaming service, followed the next day by Netflix. Hulu will ALWAYS be a part of my streaming monthly bill because of situations like this; sometimes, when you’re looking through the offerings for nothing in particular, you’ll find an amazing gem.  

That leads us to the subject of this review.  

The Hot Flashes is a 2013 R-Rated sports comedy about a group of middle-aged women who come together to form a basketball team to take on their hometown’s state championship-winning women’s team for charity, with all of the proceeds to go toward saving a local mobile Mammogram testing unit that is set to be discontinued due to lack of funds. 

This woefully underappreciated and unknown comedy stars Hollywood mainstay Brooke Shields as Beth Humphrey, team captain, house wife, and recently menopause-suffering former high school basketball star. Beth and her husband Laurence, played by Eric Roberts, discover that the Tess Mulldoon Mobile Mammography unit, named for Beth’s deceased best friend whom succumbed to breast cancer three years prior, is close to being shut down.  

After discovering that the Mobile Mammography Unit (referred to by the males in the film as ‘Tess’s Travelin’ Titty Tester’) needs $25,000 to be saved, Beth gets the idea to hold a fundraiser involving the town’s Lady Armadillos state championship team to raise the necessary funds.  

Beth enlists the aid of former teammates (and former championship winners) to play against the high school basketball champions. Roxie (played by The Practice alum, Camryn Manheim), Clementine (Candy Man lead, Virginia Madsen), Mayor Florine (the great Wanda Sykes), and former basketball star/ local car dealer, Ginger (Daryl Hannah) to play against the current high school basketball champions. Together, they become the Hot Flashes.

This film is more than just a comedy about middle aged women who decided to name their team after a symptom of menopause. While it contains many of the troupes that are found in films such as these–women overcoming sexism, ageism, homophobia, racism, or even infidelity–it also tackles a serious medical issue among women: breast cancer.

The Hot Flashes’ starting five are film and television industry heavyweights, and it was so amazing to see these outstanding women playing lovable characters that are easy to relate to. Each one of the women has their own challenges and story arcs while also building a close bond among teammates.

I will not give too much away about this film, but I will say that this film is enjoyable if you are hanging out on a Saturday or Sunday with nothing to do or watch. It’s a shame it has not gotten more attention, especially with its subject matter, but it is definitely worth the 100-minute runtime.  

I was talking about this film with Bartender Smiley, and I told him that I needed about two shots for this movie. It isn’t perfect, but the writing between characters is solid. Some of the jokes are hit-or-miss, but the talent in this film pulls it off just fine. While this is a Brooke Shields vehicle, Sykes, Hannah, Manheim, and Madsen do an amazing job. So give it a try, and share your thoughts with us on all of our social media and let me know what you thought.

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