REVIEW: The Hot Flashes (2013)

the hot flashesA group of middle-aged women, all former high-school basketball champions, come together to compete against the current high-school champions to raise money for a mobile breast cancer screening unit.

The Hot Flashes is a lot of fun. It’s got that mix of comedy and relatable characters that really pulls you in. It’s Beth’s (Brooke Shields) idea to put together a middle-aged basketball team and by doing so she discovers more about herself. Beth’s marriage doesn’t seem to be going great and her husband Laurence (Eric Roberts) is just waiting for her to get bored of this basketball team idea like she usually gets bored of everything else. Beth surprises herself and her family with how determined she is about this cause.

The bond between Beth’s team is what really drives the film. As usual in sports films, not all of them get on to begin with but over the course of the training and three matches against the high-school girls, they become really close and good friends. The team is made up of five very different women; Beth, Florine (Wanda Sykes) is running for Mayor and doesn’t think playing basketball would necessarily be good for her image, Ginger (Daryl Hannah) a car saleswoman who has been living with her roommate for 16 years, Roxie (Camryn Manheim) a tough biker who believes her husband is no longer interested in her, and Clementine (Virginia Madsen) a woman often shunned by the town for her promiscuity.

The basketball games are fast-paced and well edited so you never lose what’s happening even if you don’t know the rules of basketball. There’s also a great soundtrack full of high tempo songs that help pull you in and root for the team.

The Hot Flashes is built on the relationships between the women in this story – both good and bad. There’s Beth and her team, Beth and her teenage daughter Jocelyn (Charlotte Graham) who is on the high-school basketball team so there’s a rivalry between the two but they never stop caring about each other, and Jocelyn and Millie (Jessica Rothe), the most popular girl in school and on the basketball team.

The Hot Flashes is kind of cliché but that doesn’t make it any less fun or heartfelt. 5/5.


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