After reading our POMS Review, you might be inspired to take mom to the movies this weekend.
by Crystal Yakel-Kuntz
Poms is the best cheerleading movie since the first Bring It On. Poms did not inspire me to become a cheerleader, but the love and humor of this film does inspire me to embrace the idea of aging and living in community, living in pursuit of joy. The film’s protagonist, Martha (Diane Keaton), is motivated by a secret in order to fulfill a dream by gathering a retired team of funny, and somewhat spry, women with the aim of creating Sun Springs’s, a retirement center, first cheerleading squad.
As Martha works through the rigamarole of retirement center politics to create a cheerleading squad, she becomes unlikely friends with a fellow resident, Sheryl (Jacki Weaver). Sheryl is good at “poker and poking,” whereas Martha is given up fun in her endeavors to be a teacher much of her life. Despite how different Sheryl and Martha are from each other, their bond forms as they bring together a team of wonderfully aged characters.
As this film by numbers progresses, we find uniqueness in the way the film asks its characters to support and care for one another. Between battling fellow Sun Springs residents that don’t find cheerleading at 55+ appropriate, the wears of dancing at a an age with life lived well, and coming up against the city’s catty local high school cheerleaders, these women fight valiantly through it all, coming out stronger for their continued pursuit of fulfillment and joy.
In battling her secret and Sun Springs, Martha builds a squad that initially works together to have something fun to fill their lives in retirement. The team evolves to realize they have found true friendships with each other, and they long for the time together to practice not just to prove Sun Springs wrong, but to just be with each other. Even Martha, guarded by her secret, allows this cheerleading squad to become her community and finds joy in its life affirming presence.
These Golden Girls inspire me to age with grace through the building of community and laughter. Getting older is a part of life, and it can be a very wonderful privilege. Or, “sometimes you just have to stare that shit in the face and say go to hell!”
Poms is in theatres this Friday May 10th. Check out the trailer below!
POMS is an uplifting comedy about Martha (played by Diane Keaton), a woman who moves into a retirement community and starts a cheerleading squad with her fellow residents, Sheryl (Jacki Weaver), Olive (Pam Grier) and Alice (Rhea Perlman), proving that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.