POMS (2019)

Directed By: Zara Hayes
Written By: Shane Atkinson 
Story By: Zara Hayes & Shane Atkinson 
Cinematography: Tim Orr
Editor: Annette Davey 

Cast: Diane Keaton, Jacki Weaver, Celia Weston, Alisha Roe, Charlie Tahan, Rhea Perlman, Pam Grier, Phyllis Somerville, Patrica French, Bruce McGill 

POMS is a comedy about a group of women who form a cheerleading squad at their retirement community, proving that you’re never too old to ‘bring it!’


Usually every summer there are certain types of films that come towards the end of that season. There is the urban thriller that has something to do with domestication. There is a fantasy romance that somehow involves travel or older characters or both and there is the older ensemble movie. Which usually involves a group of older female or male characters whose characters get together for a cause.

Somehow have a setback or are underestimated because of their age. Then manages to impress and show off the young people. 

The film will usually involve the character doing things you wouldn’t expect them to do at that age. Usually, the cast will be filled with recognizable actors. Who will either all get a chance to shine or two of them will be more the focus. While the others fall by the wayside (Think the movie CALENDAR GIRLS) the other way is that it is an ensemble filled with all ages whereas a group they bond and we see the individual problems of each across the ages.

This film is the one that involves an ensemble and two of the actors take the lead. As well as having older characters doing something together that is only thought to be done by younger people. Here it is cheerleading. The two main leads are Diane Keaton and Jacki Weaver 

Jacki Weaver is more the flirty and rambunctious character. Who comes across like Blanche from THE GOLDEN GIRLS. She is also more the wild child and veteran of the retirement community they are part of.

Diane Keaton is the new resident who mainly came there to be alone and dies slowly from Cancer, but as she keeps being made to socialize and brought into her neighbors schemes. She decides to do an activity as a last hurrah, also to stick it to the community board and make a mark.

We see as they recruit new members and even has a touching side story. Where an older woman has bullying kids who won’t let her do what she wants. As they think they know what they want is best.

The film Is predictable but it’s Supposed to be it’s Light and is more for an audience to enjoy, not necessarily think about and more have the film affect their feelings. Not to mention be representative of the audience they want to attract and also for the younger audience members maybe remind them of their loved ones. 

While enjoyable, one is definitely bit the audience for this one. Not to mention it all feels too familiar. There is no attempt at anything new or original. So that most of the film feels like it’s On autopilot.

So while it’s Great to see these older actresses get a project and screen time. One only wishes it was either stronger or worthy of their time and talents. Then again they can’t all get the roles Susan Sarandon and Helen Mirren seem to get that offer more versatility and flexibility.

Grade: C-

CELEBRITY (1998)

Written & Directed by: Woody Allen 
Cinematography: Sven Nykvist
Editor: Susan E. Morse 

Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Winona Ryder, Famke Janssen, Leonardo DiCaprio, Gretchen Mol, Greg Mottola, Charlize Theron, Judy Davis, Douglas McGrath, Joe Mantegna, Andre Gregory, Sam Rockwell, Adrian Grenier, Michael Lerner, Melanie Griffith, J.K. Simmons, Famke Janssen, Becky Ann Baker, Issac Mizrahi, Anthony Mason, Kate Burton, Debra Messing, David Marguiles, Tony Sirico, Bebe Neuwirth, Patti D’Arbanville, Ingrid Rogers, Jeffrey Wright, Hank Azaria, Karen Duffy, Aida Turturro, Allison Janney, Donna Hanover, Celia Weston, Wood Harris, Donald Trump 

Lee Simon, unsuccessful journalist and wanna-be novelist, tries to get his foot in the door with celebrities. After divorcing his wife Robin, Lee gets to meet a lot folks of the rich and/or beautiful, partly through journalism, and partly because he has a script to offer. But life amongst those from out-of-this-world is hard, and his putative success always results in defeat. Meanwhile, Robin meets a very desirable television producer and takes the first steps in the world of celebrities.


This seems to be more of a moralistic take more than a character piece. filming in black and white the film does come off looking beautiful and Classic but just like the characters, it’s empty.

This isn’t a typical woody Allen film. This feels more aggressive and verbose than usual a bit more hardcore. Where you can’t tell if he is angry or trying to fit in with the cinematic trends and language of the time. As this film and DECONSTRUCTING HARRY have that in common. 

While we have the typical Woody Allen type surrogate lead character played here by Kenneth Branagh. Here he feels disposable and never quite makes a mark. As he is just one of the many unlikeable characters throughout the film.

The characters are all physically beautiful but seem to be grotesque internally. As it seems only the lead character seems to know better. As he constantly cheats on his wife as his profile seems to rise, but as he slowly gets his comeuppance his suffering wife seems to become famous herself and finds love and good fortunes. 

The film seems more like a commentary on modern life at that time. The nature of celebrity web tabloids. A kind of acid commentary on it all. While feeling like a tabloid itself how it jumps around from character to character and tale to tale. Though it also feels like with this film though not surreal Allen seems to try to emulate Fredrico Fellini’s LA DOLCE VITA to a degree. While it tries to feel like that movie it never quite rises to that level. 

Using the nature of having a lot of big names in his cast. They are here for a reason. While this little is a commentary the film seems scattershot and ultimately lost because it never seems to come to a point. Just cruelty  As the Lead and the movie goes on many misadventures on his way to trying to achieve being a great writer and screenwriter. He finds the romantic entanglements prove to be as artificial as the proper and the world he is trying to enter. Even if all are around him are supposed to be artists and of such depth and passion. Showing all to be more in the moment and inauthentic with a love of self More than anything. 

Falling in love with the image in which others see them and list after them. Loving their own image More than anything else. 

The most noteworthy thing about this movie is that it has Leonardo DiCaprio in it. Mirroring his TITANIC fame of popularity but this was filmed before that film’s release. So it seems like life imitating art. Though some of the films revolve around him, he isn’t actually in it much. 

While not a classic the film is admirable in it’s own ways. It is beautifully shot and tries to say something overall it just has a funny way of showing it. 

Grade: C