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Movie review: ‘The Hot Flashes’

Posted 10:40pm on Thursday, Jul. 11, 2013

R (sexual content, drug use); 99 min.

Susan ( Desperately Seeking Susan) Seidelman has spent her AARP-eligible years making movies for that oft-ignored corner of the filmgoing public — her AARP-eligible peers. She tries her best to give a little R-rated edge to an audience that is too often served warmed-over mush.

So Boynton Beach Club was a retirement-community romantic comedy that was as frank about sex as any movie Dyan Cannon made in the ’70s. And Seidelman’s latest, The Hot Flashes, squeezes in a sex scene and plenty of ribald remarks between heaping helpings of formulaic sports-comedy cheese.

It’s a Best of Times about menopausal ex-high school basketball players who take on the current crop of state-champ teens in their small Texas town, all in the name of saving the local mammogram-mobile. And the movie is a golden opportunity for actresses who have hit Hollywood’s “hard-to-employ” age to try their hands at Southern-fried wisecracks.

Brooke Shields plays Beth, the housewife who ignores her hot flashes and midlife sweats when she hears that their breast cancer screening program has been defunded. Maybe she can raise the money to save it by “getting the team back together.”

Brad Hennig’s script is a collection of Southernisms papering over a threadbare plot and clichéd characters.

The Hot Flashes — that’s the team’s name — plays like a Tyler Perry movie with a white cast. It’s broad and low, fitfully funny, with more female-friendly messages and sermonettes than big laughs.

No, these actresses — including Virginia Madsen, Wanda Sykes, Daryl Hannah and Camryn Manheim — don’t work enough and, yes, that’s a crime. But R-rated or not, these Hot Flashes don’t generate much heat, comical or otherwise.

Exclusive: Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley, Dallas

— Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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