Film Review ‘Poms’ by Randal C. Hill

May Film by Randal C. Hill

The Sun Springs Retirement Community looks to be brochure perfect and a place with enough regimented activities (tennis, water aerobics, golf, lawn bowling) to keep all the residents busy and contented.

That’s about to change. When new retiree Martha (Diane Keaton) moves in, a well-meaning greeter asks, “What brings you to Sun Springs?”

Martha smiles and answers, “Oh, I’m just here to die.”

Before long she is befriended by Sheryl (Jackie Weaver), who discovers that Martha was a high-school cheerleader who quit the team when her mother fell ill. “Maybe you should give it another shot,” Sheryl encourages after she senses Martha’s wistfulness about her missed opportunity from half a century past.

They approach the Sun Springs powers-that-be and propose a cheerleading club. When asked who they will be cheering for, Martha blithely responds, “Ourselves!”

Rhea Perlman, Diane Keaton & Jackie Weaver
Rhea Perlman, Diane Keaton & Jackie Weaver
chase their cheerleading dreams in “Poms “
And what a team it becomes. Included
among the enthusiastic ladies recruited
are Olive (Pam Grier) and Alice (Rhea
Perlman), as well as a host of other
women of diverse backgrounds with
long-suppressed desires to shake some booties as well as pom poms.

As it turns out, Martha is indeed
dying. Though she has assured others
at Sun Springs that she’s “fit as a fiddle,” she finally admits to Sheryl that she is terminal.

For the second time in her life, Martha decides to call it quits. Again, it’s Sheryl to the rescue: “You were dying yesterday, and you’re gonna be dying next week. In the meantime, you should be dancing your ass off.”

A young, experienced cheerleader (Alisha Boe) is hired as a coach after the team ladies are challenged to a competition. Predictably, some naysayers can’t wait to issue such warnings as, “You are going to humiliate yourselves!”

Ah, but will they?

Poms opened May 10th and is a tale from director Zara Hayes (Dian Fossey: Secrets in the
Mist) and screenwriter Shane Atkinson (Penny Dreadful). Keaton is one of four executive
producers of the STX Films/ Entertainment One movie.

To some, Poms might appear to be a feel-good, featherweight flick about a collection of amped-up senior cheerleaders. But deeper than the predictable plot line is the theme that, no matter how old we’ve become, we’re never too old to “bring it” and, along the way, fulfill some long forgotten dreams.

It’s a great message to cheer for during Older Americans Month or any time of the year.

Watch the trailer here:

Read more of Randal C. Hill here:

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