We catch up with the director of Diane Keaton’s ‘Poms’ in theaters now

LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — Screen legend Diane Keaton picks up the pom-poms and proves it’s never too late for second acts and the chance to have the time of your life–in POMS, a comedy about staying forever young and the everlasting power of friendship.

When we meet Keaton’s Martha, she’s a far cry from the fun-loving, life-embracing, pom-twirling dynamo she’s destined to become. Martha has retreated to a sprawling retirement community, Sun Springs, where residents are promised to “have the time of your life for the rest of your life.”

Martha has other ideas; she’s there to live out her days and, she hopes, be left alone by the community’s many distractions: ubiquitous golf carts and walkers, and acres of shuffleboard courts, golf courses, bowling alleys, and 100+ “clubs” addressing the residents’ varied interests. Martha’s neighbor, Sheryl (Jacki Weaver), is her polar opposite. Where Martha is withdrawn, Sheryl is irrepressible.

Martha’s quest for peace and quiet is upended by Sheryl’s party-hearty ways, “My only talents are poker and poking,” she informs the now totally beleaguered Martha. And forget Martha’s loner status; Sheryl will stop at nothing to ensure they become instant best pals.

Their friendship finally cemented, Martha comes out of her shell, confiding in Sheryl that she was once a cheerleader, but life got in the way and Martha never got the chance to perform. That leads to a life-changing brainstorm: they’ll form a cheerleading club – to cheer for themselves – and do their thing at a cheer competition for ages 18 and up.

As Sheryl points out, they are all 18-plus – “18+50!” Martha and Sheryl hold auditions, where they experience the unique “talents” of their fellow seniors, including Olive (Pam Grier) and Alice (Rhea Perlman), and the squad finally begins to solidify. The eight ladies who have come together practice incessantly, despite their various conditions (sciatica, knee replacements, dizziness, aching muscles chlamydia) and community official Vicki (Celia Weston), who is determined to curtail the squad’s journey to cheerleading glory.

But Martha, Sheryl and their fellow “poms” prove that it’s never too late to follow your dreams and that even when the odds – and the years – are stacked against you, it ain’t over till it’s over.

** Derek Sante is an entertainment contributor for News3LV.com. To see more of his work, click here.

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