“Poms” (M) ** and a half
l DON’T quite understand why this movie is called “Poms”.
And I wish could have found it in me to give the full three stars to writer (in conjunction with Shane Atkinson) and feature film debut director (after a TV career in various genres) Zara Hayes’ little movie about women no longer young who, to reject life’s sameness in a retirement village, form a cheer-leading squad.
Diane Keaton plays Martha, an unmarried former teacher who decides to escape retirement’s boredom by buying a unit in a Georgia retirement village where life is rather different from the wider community. Relief comes when atta-girl neighbour Sheryl (Jacki Weaver justifiably making the big time in Hollywood), accidentally learns that at secondary school, Martha had been in a cheerleader squad but for family reasons dropped out on the eve of a big game.
From there, the film’s dramatic mixture follows a humdrum path. Village management puts obstacles in Martha and Sheryl’s path. A mixed coterie of residents tries out and gets selected. They perform in a local cheerleaders’ contest (yikes!) at which acrobatic young competitors pile scorn on them. Martha has health problems. A teenaged cheerleader becomes their coach. They compete again and are a hit with some new moves that take on all over the country.
Spoiler Alert: Martha’s ashes get sprinkled in space by an imaginative funeral director.
Elsewhere, life goes on. Like the film – same old, same old.
At all cinemas