When five middle-aged women in a Texas town form a basketball team to save their local mammography-mobile, they count on the novelty of their ages and previous experience to get the town to bet in their favor. But the $25,000 they need to raise for the clinic is only the second-biggest issue. Dealing with the town’s general complacency regarding women’s health is really the biggest challenge.
Opening today at AMC Quail Springs Mall 24, 2501 W. Memorial, The Hot Flashes appears at first to be Sex and the City meets Whip It with a menopausal twist. However, the film pulls more from reality than Hollywood; there is more social and political relevancy in this movie than most comedies dare offer.
With an all-star cast including Brooke Shields, Darryl Hannah, Wanda Sykes, Virginia Madsen and Camryn Manheim, The Hot Flashes most definitely brings the heat.
On the court, the diverse team has to deal with the town’s homophobia, racism, ageism and the deadbeat men holding them back, all while playing against the local high school’s team that’s comprised of players less than half their ages.
Madsen (The Number 23), who plays Clementine Winks, the newly divorced chain-smoking grocery store cashier, said that while the movie is occasionally saccharine, comedies need to have relevant stories.
“It’s a serious subject matter covered in a candy wrapper,” she told Oklahoma Gazette. “It’s so dumb when they put women in the kitchen, dancing around and painting each other’s toenails. That’s not reality.”
Madsen noted that the cast’s seamless dynamics contributed to the realistic portrayal of the characters. “We had an instant camaraderie,” she said. “Every day was like a party working with these women. We’ve all survived this long doing what we’re doing in this industry. We’re all so grateful.”
As one of the film’s overarching themes, Madsen talked about the aging process and the way women view themselves as they get older.
“We don’t age like our mothers and grandmothers anymore,” she said. “Now there is more freedom in your 50s. The kids are gone, I don’t have the same obligations — it’s a very exciting time.”
Madsen said she’s fully embraced her maturity.
“Women freak out about turning 30, then 40, and it’s just a waste of time,” she said. “The Hot Flashes really tries to show that any time is a good time to grab life. Things don’t stay the same forever. You have to keep moving forward!”
Don’t expect a Lifetime-styled storyline from The Hot Flashes. If anything, it deserves merit for taking a stance on pertinent issues that are more than relevant right now.
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