CHICAGO – There is an undeniable amount of skill and talent that goes into cheerleading. I happen to be rhythmically challenged so I am in awe of anyone, regardless of age, who can keep a beat while doing any sort of choreography. “Poms” promised to keep in step with a fresh premise, an all-star cast, and a new perspective on this tried-and-true genre but it tumbles along the way.
There is a temerity in the film that is rarely broken by the few hilarious, outrageous moments throughout. These moments are what the film was starved for because they were the only parts of the film that actually subverted the genre. The rest took the predictable route of joints aches and back pain. Co-writers Shane Atkinson and Zara Hayes both make their feature film screenplay debut, which is a major detriment to a film that could have used not only a more seasoned writer but also a person familiar with the perspective.
Atkinson and Hayes approach “Poms” with as the evergreen inspirational film it is. An underdog tale mixed with a bit of bucket list dream chasing and a novel concept. Having senior citizens attempt a cheerleading performance is meant to be the punchline and a draw for anyone going into this film, but there ends up being nothing funny about it. If you’re expecting a “Bad Grandpa”-style physical comedy, you’ll be sorely disappointed. On the other hand, if you’re hoping for something more heartfelt and genuine, you’ll only be partially disappointed.
“Poms” opens everywhere on May 10th. Featuring Diane Keaton, Jacki Weaver, Rhea Perlman, Celia Weston, Phyllis Somerville, Alisha Boe, Charlie Tahan, and Pam Grier. Directed by Zara Hayes. Written by Shane Atkinson and Zara Hayes. Rated “PG-13”
Photo credit: STX Entertainment