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Poms – Movie Review

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Poms – Movie Review

Rating: B- (Okay)

Trailer/Thumbnail Courtesy eOne Films

Last year, Diane Keaton teamed up with other talented actresses in her age range in Book Club. Poms falls into a similar category of comedy, albeit replacing reading Fifty Shades of Grey with taking up cheerleading. The result ends up being a rather safe, inoffensive piece of fluff. Despite a few amusing moments here and there, Poms doesn’t rise above standard fare of this type and the actresses in this film definitely deserve better material. This is a fitting airplane movie. Just a quick, harmless diversion that will be forgotten as soon as you pick up your luggage from baggage claim.

The main comparison one can make to Book Club is how it gives the focus to older women and lets them take charge of the story, which is good. The retirement community setting allows the film to remain primarily about these women and their motivation to take up something they’re passionate about. The film is mostly intent on telling Diane Keaton’s story, with Jacki Weaver serving as the best friend. The other women aren’t given a lot in the way of unique personalities, though. Even Pam Grier is disappointingly wasted as one of the cheerleaders as she’s not given much to do. Instead, the filmmakers spend more time with a teenage girl who helps the women with their routine.

A lot of the jokes fall into the predictable variety, relying on the usual sitcom gags. We get the expected comedic hijinks and the main joke of these elderly women doing things we don’t normally associate with people in that age bracket. While a few chuckles materialize, that’s mostly due to the talents of Keaton and Weaver, who try their best with what they’re given. Celia Weston also gets a rare laugh as one of the overzealous community residents, while Bruce McGill does well as the police chief trying to keep everything in control.

Poms attempts to have moments of sentimentality, too, but these don’t feel earned. There are character revelations, which only exist to provide some extra drama. At a short 90 minutes, the movie tries a few things to pad out the runtime. There are a few too many musical montages for one thing, as we watch multiple scenes of the women training and exercising set to some current pop hit. There’s also an additional subplot involving Weaver’s grandson, because there apparently need to be a few younger people in the cast. Is there an unnecessary and forced romance in this movie, too? You bet!

This is a movie that doesn’t want to do anything that rocks the boat and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but Poms nonetheless ends up as a rather mediocre comedic experience. The movie seems to only care about Diane Keaton and Jacki Weaver and even then, they’re not given particularly fleshed out characters to work with. The movie just wants them to be a slightly grumpier Keaton and an overly chipper Weaver. Poms is the kind of comedy that’s a dime-a-dozen: a weightless, safe and empty exercise that is more than adequate viewing on a streaming service or watched on the back of an airplane seat.

Stefan Ellison
THE SCENE

Stefan Ellison