Aging cheerleader tale never finds its purpose

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It's "Bring It On: The Golden Years" in "Poms," an idea for a screenplay in desperate search of a screenplay. 

Diane Keaton plays Martha, who leaves New York and moves into a retirement community in Georgia. "I'm just here to die," she announces upon her arrival. She found the right movie. 

Ever the independent, Martha scoffs when told she must join a social club. But then she decides to start a cheerleading squad, in part because she knows it will ruffle the feathers of Vicki (Celia Weston), the uptight social director of the Sun Springs retirement community.   

Along with her neighbor Sheryl (Jacki Weaver), Martha recruits a handful of her fellow retirees, including Alice (Rhea Perlman) and Olive (Pam Grier). Cue the tryouts montage.

Vicki is upset, because without some sort of adversity, there's no movie. She takes away their rehearsal space, so the cheerleaders are forced to practice at the local high school, where very tame and frankly quite endearing leaked footage of their practice is mocked and "goes viral," because internet infamy is now an easy fallback for screenwriters.

Eager to prove their haters wrong, Martha and her pals enter a cheerleading competition, and if all of this sounds stretched within an inch of its life, you're shaking your pom poms to the right beat. 

Diane Keaton is so much better than this, even in throwaways like last year's "Book Club," which had a similar "old but still kicking!" theme to it. Look, films need conflict, otherwise there's nothing for the characters to do. "Poms" never comes up with anything worthwhile to fight against, let alone cheer. 

'Poms'

GRADE: C-

Rated PG-13: for some language/sexual references

Running time: 91 minutes

agraham@detroitnews.com

@grahamorama

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