Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Chick-Buddy Movie for a Good Cause


“Hot Flashes” a Chick-Buddy Flick with a Purpose

By Skip Sheffield

Opening Friday, July 12 at the Movies of Delray, “The Hot Flashes” is a movie comedy that answers the question, “What ever happened to…?”
Trend-setting director Susan Seidelman (“Desperately Seeking Susan,” “Boynton Beach Club”) has embraced her own age by making a film comedy about five menopausal women who fight back by re-forming a champion women’s basketball team to take on the existing Texas State high school champions in the small town of Burning Bush, Texas.
The motivation is a campaign to raise $25,000 to save a mobile mammogram unit which has run out of funds.
The original idea by first-time screenwriter Brad Henning motivated Seidelman to cast some of her favorite underused actresses of a “certain age.”
The lead player is onetime “Pretty Baby” Brooke Shields as Beth Humphrey, a housewife just shy of 50 who is struggling with the challenges of early menopause while raising a teenage daughter and dealing with a husband who seems to be losing interest in her.
Her daughter Joclyn (Charlotte Graham) is on the championship Lady Armadillos basketball team. Husband Lawrence (Eric Roberts) is a post office worker who has been spending far too many late nights at the job.
When Beth learns the Tess Muldoon Mobile Breast Cancer Unit has exhausted its funds, she gets the bright idea of ringing up her four former teammates on a championship Lady Armadillos basketball team of 30 years ago to re-form and challenge the reigning high school champs to a series of three games to raise funds to fight cancer.
Naturally there is resistance to such a bold idea.
Florine Clarkson (Wanda Sykes) is busy campaigning to be the first black female Mayor of Burning Bush.
Clementine Winks (Virginia Madsen) is the estranged former wife of the current basketball coach, and in no mood to deal with his dirty tricks.
Ginger Peabody (Daryl Hannah) is proprietor of a successful car dealership with a rather personal secret.
Roxie Rosales (Camryn Manheim) is an overweight, out-of-shape biker chick who has no inclination to shape up.
A dwarf discredited veterinarian (Mark Rovinelli) is recruited to coach the team. One of Roxie’s pot-smoking biker buddies is drafted as referee.
So “The Hot Flashes” is the very definition of a “situation comedy.” What makes it fun is the players, some of whom we have not seen in a long time.
Brooke Shields is still a natural beauty whose nearly 6-foot height makes her believable as a b-ball champ.
Daryl Hannah is another tall, good-looking woman who has pretty much been missing in action since “Kill Bill” in 2003. She has been quite active politically, and it is good to see her back on the big screen.
Virginia Madsen is not as statuesque as the others, but what she lacks in height she makes up in beauty and feistiness.
Camryn Manheim is a plus-sized natural comedian who adds physical comedy.
Sure, “Hot Flashes” is formulaic and quite far-fetched, but it is all for a good cause and some good laughs.