Retired teacher Martha (Diane Keaton) has spent the last 46 years living in the same New York City apartment. She has no family, and has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Instead of spending her final days suffering through chemotherapy treatments, she cancels all her doctor appointments, and heads to Georgia to the Sun Springs retirement community.
Upon her arrival, she is welcomed by Vicki (Celia Weston), the head of the welcoming committee, and leader of the Southern Belles—the mean girls who effectively run the over-55 development. Vicki informs her that all residents must join at least one club, and that the Belles is only open to true Southerners. After Chief Carl (Bruce McGill) gives Martha the obligatory quick security rundown, she is off to see her new home, where she meets her wild neighbor Sheryl (Jacki Weaver). Sheryl invites Martha to her weekly poker game—Sheryl isn’t much for following the
community rules. Martha is used to a more solitary life, but Sheryl grows on her.
Martha never really had any regrets in her life. Except that her senior year of high school she had finally made the cheerleading team, but then her mom got sick and she had to quit the team before she even got a chance to perform. So after Sheryl jokingly suggests that Martha start a cheerleading club, she does. In addition to Martha and Sheryl, the group members include Olive (Pam Grier), who’s having some bedroom problems with her husband; country girl Phyllis (Patricia French); flexible Evelyn (Ginny MacColl); aerobiciser Ruby (Carol Sutton); octogenarian Helen (Phyllis Somerville), whose overbearing adult son doesn’t want her to participate; and Alice (Rhea Perlman), whose husband told her she could join the club over his dead body, and then he conveniently dropped dead.
The group is constantly met with opposition from Vicki—who tries to shut it down, or take away their practice space—and other outside forces, and no one knows about Martha’s secret health problems. But Martha is determined to make things work, and prepare the group to compete in a big cheerleading competition. Assisting her in this mission are Sheryl’s teenage grandson Ben (Charlie Tahan)—who is secretly living in her home—and his classmate/crush Chloe (Alisha Boe), a reformed mean girl cheerleader at the high school.
I didn’t know what to expect when i watched this film, but I was pleasantly surprised. It is a fun and heartwarming tale of second chances and living life to the fullest. In addition to the obvious comedy of seeing older ladies train to become cheerleaders and then perform in front of an audience, there is also an emotional story at the film’s core. The theme can be summarized by a line that Martha tells Ben in regards to Chloe, “life is short, and make your move already”. Each of the women has her own backstory and reasons for needing/wanting to join this club. Poms is a moving and inspirational film that also contains many moments that are sure to make the audience laugh out loud.
Universal’s Blu-ray release provides an excellent picture that is crisp and clean, and captures the details and colors nicely—both in the brighter scenes at the retirement community as well as in the slightly darker scenes as the group hits the stage for their performances. The soundtrack provides clear dialogue and really showcases the film’s pop soundtrack and score.
The Blu-ray release comes packed in standard HD keepcase with a slipcover, and contains an insert with a code to redeem for an HD iTunes digital copy of the film (it is not Movies Anywhere compatible). Unfortunately this is a bare-bones release, and neither the Blu-ray nor the DVD contain any bonus material.
- 1080p / Widescreen 1.85:1
- Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English DVS (Descriptive Video Service)
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
- 480i / Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
- Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1, English DVS (Descriptive Video Service)
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
- HD digital copy redeemable via iTunes (Not Movies Anywhere compatible)
Digital (for redemption deadline, see NBCUcodes.com):
This release includes no supplemental material.
Poms is a fun and heartwarming tale of an older woman who decides to pursue the one dream of hers that she never got to accomplish…to become a cheerleader. The filmmakers have done a nice job of blending humor and drama into this story that teaches that life is short and that we should all live life to the fullest. Universal’s Blu-ray looks and sounds great, but is unfortunately bare-bones, with no bonus material. That said, the film itself is definitely worth checking out for a fun time.