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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

the oh-no! DVD of the week: ‘Flirting With Forty’

OMG, it’s so sexy and romantic and awesome and see, old chicks just wanna have fun, too!

Jackie (Heather Locklear, TV’s Spin City) is a recently divorced mother of two vacationing alone in Hawaii for her 40th birthday. Against her better judgment, she allows the hunky, much younger, resident surf instructor (Robert Buckley, TV’s Lipstick Jungle) to sweep her off her feet. What begins as a scorching one-night stand quickly turns into love as she jets off to Hawaii every chance she gets. But with kids, a disapproving ex-husband and friends, and an ocean separating them, real love becomes real tricky. When Jackie loses her balance, it takes her lover to teach her how to get back on the board before she misses the one wave that will change her life. Based on the best-selling novel by Jane Porter.

Wait. Heather Locklear? Heather Locklear and a 40th birthday? Flirting with 40? More like Flirting With 50. Locklear was born in September 1961 (or at least that’s what the public is led to believe), and this flick — which aired on Lifetime in December 2008 — was shot in April 2008. Which means that Locklear was 46 going on 47 when this was made.

Now, I ain’t picking on Locklear here. I’m picking on Hollywood. Locklear looks fine, but she doesn’t look like she’s just turned 40. The only intention here can have been to make 40 look “worse” than it really is, to emphasize that a once a gal hits 40, it’s all over… so she’d better take whatever hunky Hawaiian surfer she can fool into a scorching one-night stand. You know, before he realizes how freakishly wizened she is, or something.

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