One of the interesting trends of the last few years is Hollywood taking notice of an older demographic of filmgoer. It makes sense with senior citizen discounts and other programs that older men and women are going to the movies more each year. When I go to my local theater there are a number of older patrons who I see regularly and who seem to attend the movies almost daily.
With this audience it only stands to reason films are going to be made that particularly appeal to them. Whether it is comedies (Marigold Hotel movies, The Intern, Hello My Name is Doris, Book Club) or dramas (I’ll See You in My Dreams, The Mule, Beginners), every year we get a handful of movies about senior citizens and the contributions they make. The latest entry in this genre is called Poms and it is unfortunately a bit of a mixed bag
The best parts of Poms are the sweet parts. Diane Keaton plays a woman named Martha who with little to no family moves to Georgia to live out her final days of cancer at a plush retirement community. While there she decides to fulfill her teenage dream of becoming a cheerleader with the help of a bunch of her new friends (Jacki Weaver, Pam Grier, Rhea Perlman, and more). These ladies have lovely chemistry and seeing them work together definitely pulled at the heartstrings (my Grandma just recently passed so it was close to home). I particularly loved Jacki Weaver who I think always elevates anything she is in. The ladies also have some sweet moments with 2 teenagers who agree to help the cause (Charlie Tahan and Alisha Boe).
The problem with Poms is most of the humor felt very sitcomy. It felt like a used Golden Girls script stretched out into a feature film. The ‘old women can have sex’ jokes got old very fast and some of the humor was flat out weird- like an implication Rhea Perlman murders her abusive husband to be on the team or a badly handled subplot with Phyllis Somerville’s abusive and controlling son that was awkward. I also got really sick of Celia Weston’s antics as a Southern Belle maiden overseeing everything at the community. There might as well have been a laugh track behind some of these bits they were so sitcomy.
All that said, if you are looking for something to do with your Mother and Grandmother for Mother’s Day you could do worse than Poms. It’s harmless but probably best to be seen at home as a rental.
4 out of 10
Frown Worthy (Barely)