Top 7 Menopause On-Screen Moments

September 03, 2014
Top 7 Menopause On-Screen Moments

Menopause storylines - whether on television or on the silver screen - is a mixed bag of clichéd humor for cheap laughs, valuable information and honest, often hysterical, portrayals. Following are seven of the most memorable menopause on-screen moments from the past four decades.

  1. In an unforgettable clip from the classic sitcom The Cosby Show, Claire’s family walks on eggshells because she tells them she’s going through menopause, so she and Cliff decide to play up every menopause symptom to the extreme during dinner. This one will have you literally LOLing.
  2. It might not be quite on par with A League of Their Own, but the 2013 female buddy comedy The Hot Flashes features Brooke Shields as a small-town Texas woman seeking to raise money for a mobile breast-screening unit by bringing back her old high-school basketball team for a benefit game. Shields is starting to experience menopause symptoms, and her “recruits,” which include Wanda Sykes, Daryl Hannah and Camryn Manheim, are in the same age bracket, so the team name alludes to The Change – and hopefully the foot speed of its players.
  3. If the slapstick comedy approach to menopause is one extreme, the complicated, ambitious character of Claire (portrayed by Robin Wright) in the Netflix series House of Cards is the other. As the wife of a high-powered Washington power broker, Claire is guarded and calculating in many ways, and she reveals as little as possible about her menopause experience. In one scene she walks to the freezer to cool down then confides in her female friend that she hasn’t yet talked to Francis, her husband, about it. She quickly changes the subject, which portrays how many women feel they need to treat the topic of menopause.
  4. Even before Claire Huxtable had some fun with her family, Edith Bunker was struggling through the first onset of menopause symptoms on All In The Family. A 1972 episode called “Edith’s Problem” chronicles Archie’s frustration with Edith’s mood swings and irritability just before their planned trip to Disneyworld. Add menopause to the significant list of topics that All In The Family tackled long before most television writers of that era would have dared.
  5. Subtitled, “A film of menopausal proportions,” the 2012 documentary Hot Flash Havoc was written to set the record straight about the 2002 Women’s Health Initiative that scared women with reports of the side effects associated with hormone-replacement therapy. The film’s producers worked with medical experts to create an informative and entertaining resource. Said one reviewer, “This film has more power to improve and reform women’s health than 200 pages of legislation.”
  6. In the case of the Sex and the City cast members, viewers watched them progress from single young professionals to women facing the prospect of menopause. This theme came out in the second big-screen movie, Sex and the City 2, in which Samantha tries everything to cool off, rubbing hormone cream all over her body and taking handfuls of alternative supplements.
  7. Season 4 of the popular British television series Absolutely Fabulous even featured an episode entitled “Menopause,” in which Edina is having business trouble which is compounded by Patsy’s menopausal struggles. A scene in which the women attend a meeting of Menopause Anonymous is particularly memorable.

Did we miss your favorite on-screen moment? If so, let us know. We’re always ready to watch and empathize with other women.

Vibrant Voice Ambassador at Replens
The Vibrant Voice Ambassador’s mission is to collect interesting stories and useful articles that are relevant for mature women.  Our goal is to help you maintain an active lifestyle - to Fifty and Beyond!
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