'Poms' shows camaraderie in cheerleading

Movies & More reviewer John Gillispie shares his thoughts on "Poms," which is rated PG-13 and currently playing in theaters.

Women living in a senior community start a cheerleading club and this leads to members of the group forming unexpected friendships and facing their fears of competing in the movie "Poms."

As the movie begins, we meet Martha (Diane Keaton) as she is facing a serious illness and seems frustrated at having to move into a new home in a senior community. Her new neighbor is Sheryl (Jacki Weaver), who enjoys life and tries hard to befriend Martha.

At first Martha is grumpy and sarcastic but she eventually warms up to Sheryl and decides to start a cheerleading club to the chagrin of Vicki (Celia Weston of TV's "Alice"), who runs the committee that must approve the new club. Vicki informs Martha she has to have eight members to have an official group.

After some fun auditions and a little recruiting, the others who join the group include Pam Grier as Olive; Rhea Perlman as Alice; Phyllis Somerville as Helen; Carol Sutton as Ruby; Ginny MacColl as Evelyn; and Patricia French as Phyllis.

The group is assisted with coaching from high school cheerleader Chloe (Alisha Boe) and music mixing by Sheryl's grandson Ben (Charlie Tahan), whom Sheryl is hiding in her home by pretending he is the gardener.

I found "Poms" to be an enjoyable movie experience about friendship, perseverance and camaraderie. There are some funny moments and some serious scenes as well. The cheerleading group faces opposition from Vicki, who cuts back their allotted practice time and Helen's son who doesn't want his mother to participate in cheerleading.

The members of the group become extremely close. The film's messages include it takes hard work to pursue goals and life should be lived to the fullest.

John Gillispie is the public relations director for the Huntington Museum of Art.

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