Poms – a movie review by Roz Tarszisz

May 9, 2019 by Roz Tarszisz
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Poms is in the tradition of The Fully Monty whereby a disparate bunch of people come together to reach a specific goal. The ladies here, and they are for the most part ladies, do keep their gear on but get to shake their tushies and strut their stuff, eventually.

Martha (Diane Keaton), a retired schoolteacher, takes off for a retirement community in Georgia.  Her little secret is that she’s got cancer but has refused further treatment.

She resists efforts to get her involved. Vicki (Celia Weston) the bossy leader of the welcoming committee, doesn’t quite know how to deal with the cranky and unsociable Martha. However, it is mandatory that residents join at least one club or form their own.

Out of the many available clubs Martha can’t find one she’s interested in. When she perks up and lets her friendly and effervescent neighbor Sheryl (Jackie Weaver) in, she decides on a whim, to start a cheerleading club to appear at the community’s annual concert.

Of course, the idea of a bunch of retirees doing what is usually done by athletic teenagers is somewhat ridiculous. Every member of the gang she and Sheryl manage to cobble together has some physical issue.

In tried and true fashion, the disparate group start to bond, and aided by Sheryl’s grandson, played by Charlie Tahan, they start to make a little headway.  They need help with the choreography and via a plot contrivance, blackmail the athletic lead dancer from the local high school cheerleading squad (Alisha Boe) to help.

There are no great surprises, but the big reveal is pretty good.  It’s lovely to see our own Jackie Weaver again in a big role and she’s perfect for the role of a woman who has always gotten along better with men than women. I am not sure about her American accent but that’s a personal quibble. Rhea Pearlman as Alice plays it straight as a woman who grasps the chance to do what she finally wants. As Olive (Pam Grier) shows she still has the right moves.

The penultimate scene where the women show what they can do is uplifting.  It’s not often we see a film solely as a vehicle for older actresses and director Zara Hayes makes it fun without patronizing their characters.  Diane Keaton has found her métier in her golden years and it’s a long way from Annie Hall. The soundtrack is lively and upbeat.

3.5/5 Rated PG  90mins  Comedy  Released May 9

Stars Diane Keaton, Jackie Weaver, Pam Grier, Celia Weston, Alisha Boe, Rhea Pearlman

Directed by Zara Hayes

Written by Shane Atkinson, Zara Hayes

 

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