Review by George Kozera for Mr. Will Wong
In the interest of full disclosure, I am at an age, best described by the inimitable Bea Arthur in MAME, as between “35 and death” therefore, I approach movies about aging and/or retirement options with a particular mindset….there, by the grace of God, go I! Eschewing tired clichés about doddering, forgetful old fogeys, POMS is a delightful Comedy that deals with topics like friendships, sex and illness with humour, sensitivity and style.
Diane Keaton (the epitome of how to age with class!) plays Martha, a retired school teacher, who has sold most of her belongings at a garage sale (with the exception of a framed photographs of herself in a cheerleading outfit and one of her deceased mother) and moves to a retirement community in Georgia. We quickly learn that she has cancer and has moved to live out her remaining time in peace and tranquility. POMS is a Comedy, so we know that will never happen! Especially when we meet her next door neighbour Sheryl (Jackie Weaver dominating every scene she is in). Sheryl is a whirlwind: she’s loud, rebellious, and nosey and she really enjoys the company of men. She is also compassionate and insightful and soon a strong friendship develops between these two unlikely friends. During one of their bonding moments, Sheryl learns that Martha was never able to pursue her cheerleading dream and recommends that she starts a squad using the retirement community’s facilities. Together, they audition many ladies of a certain age and wind up with a troupe that will ultimately lead them to a cheerleading competition.
Theoretically, POMS shouldn’t work. The plot holes are huge and contrivances pile up higher and higher, but these can be forgiven as it is the first time Documentary Filmmaker Zara Hayes, has tackled a narrative feature. And the character of Sheryl will automatically bring to mind Blanche Devereaux from The Golden Girls. But other than the defanging and criminally-underused Pam Grier, the supporting characters are entertaining to be with (which include Rhea Perlman), the Movie is photographed gloriously and the pace moves steadily and elicits smiles. POMS is a welcomed, entertaining entry into the summer movie season.
eOne Films release POMS Friday, May 10, 2019.