DIRECTOR: zara hayes (debut)
starring: diane keaton, jacki weaver, pam grier, and alisha boe
REVIEWER: purdie jenkins
Martha moves into a retirement community and starts a cheer leading squad with her fellow residents.
Elderly retired women and cheerleading might make you raise an eyebrow and cringe at the thought of hips and knees giving out. Which is fair, after all the women starring in Poms sure are all well into their late 60s and 70s. And while the main pitch of the film is a bunch of women living in a retirement village start up a cheerleading club, Poms is really about sticking it to the man, female friendships and not getting stuck into a box.
Martha (Diane Keaton) moves herself out of her city apartment and into a freestanding home in a retirement village, she is met with the requirement that all residents much join a club, or they can create their own. With encouragement from her extroverted neighbour, Sheryl (Jackie Weaver) they start up the first Cheerleading Club. There is a focus on the women and the obstacles they must overcome, husbands, children, over controlling social committee leaders, numerous bodily issues and the stigma of cheer leading.
It wasn’t too long ago that these wonderful actresses would have had to consider retirement plans themselves, there wasn’t much around for women to star in if they were older than 50. But it seems that Hollywood has woken up and realised that the aging population is an untapped market. I’ve said it before in other reviews, representation matters and this includes older casts.
Poms is a bit of fun, it’s a lighthearted laugh which is probably perfect for Mother’s Day, or to have a girls trip with the ladies in your life. It’s a mixture of Bring it On, Hip Hop-eration and Pitch Perfect - a chick flick with great characters and make you want to have some fun with your friends. I enjoyed how each of the women had their own personality and talents, each little subplot never felt intrusive. While I’m not the targeted audience, there is something about these women doing their thing and ignoring any naysayers which I found endearing and inspiring.
If I am as half as cool as the ladies in Poms when I’m their age I’ll be a happy girl!