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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Pole Dames

Poms (2019) on IMDb

Plot Overview

Aging spinster Martha Walker (Diane Keaton) moves to Sun Springs Adult Retirement Community where she is required to join at least one of their many (100) social clubs. Either that or start her own. Their council is about as thrilled with her start-up choice (“We're starting a cheerleader club at Sun Springs”) as was James Bond with M in Sebastion Faulks's 007 derivative novel:

Bond inclined his head towards the door. “And the old man?”

Miss Moneypenny made a sucking noise over her teeth. “A bit cranky, to be honest, James. He's taken up …” She crooked her finger in invitation to him to come closer. As he inclined his head, she whispered in his ear. Bond felt her lips against his skin.

“Yoga!” Bond exploded. “What in God's—”

Moneypenny laughed as she raised a finger to her lips.

“Has the whole world gone raving mad in my absence?” (28)

Predictably, the council puts the kibosh on their cheer­leading club, so they move their venue (“They are an unofficial club”) to rehearse at the local high school gym. There they discover an upcoming competition. They enter it in the Over 18 category despite the fact that, “We look like a bunch of old ladies out there.”

“Now then, May,” he said, “tell me what's been happening while I've been away.”

May thought for a moment. “That elderly feller got back from sailing round the world all on his own.”


“Aye. That's his name. Though don't ask me what the point of it all was. And him a pensioner as well.”

“I suppose men just feel the need to prove themselves,” said Bond. “Even older men” (ibid., 26)


royal flushUpon her arrival at the senior community, Martha encountered her feisty next door neighbor Sheryl (Jacki Weaver) who operates a clandestine poker night at her place. She soon joins Martha to sponsor the cheer club. Do you recall one of Kenny Rogers's songs concerning a chance meeting with “The Gambler” on a train, who offered the passenger this advice: “Every hand's a winner/ And Every hand's a loser”? The refrain of the song goes:

You've got to know when to hold 'em,
Know when to fold 'em,
Know when to walk away,
Know when to run.

You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

This gambling man's wisdom is old as the hills and was passed on by a raconteur, Agur in Proverbs 30:1, whose four meta­phors offered the same life advice as did Rogers's Gambler. That we find in, (Prov. 30:29-31) “There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going: A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any; A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.”

We have Agur's “lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any” and we have Rogers's “know[ing] when to hold 'em.” In our movie that would correspond to the club sticking to their eligibility criteria (over 18) though they were rebuffed at the entrance for being age-inappropriate.

We have Agur's “king, against whom there is no rising up,” and we have Rogers's “Know[ing] when to fold 'em” A king who knows when to give in to his subjects doesn't experience any uprising. After three failed attempts to make the squad in high school, Martha had finally made the varsity squad for her senior year. Unfortunately, her mother's failing health necessitated Martha drop the squad so she could tend her. She knew when to call it quits.

We have Agur's “he goat also” and we have Rogers's “Know[ing] when to walk away.” In the movie Martha after forty-one years in the same apartment, packed up and left for her retirement digs.

senior busWe have Agur's “greyhound” and Rogers's “Know[ing] when to run.” To make the competition on time, the remaining competitors were loaded into the senior van and led Security Chief Carl (Bruce McGill) in a hot pursuit chase in his golf cart.

The gambler gave the advice:

You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

The center's motto is, “Have the time of your life for the rest of your life.” Don't quit living until it's your time to go out … with a bang.

Production Values

” (2019) was directed by Zara Hayes. It was written by Shane Atkinson. It stars Diane Keaton, Jacki Weaver, and Celia Weston. Keaton along with Weaver were fabulous. Diane Keaton had recently starred in “Book Club” (2018), another film about aging grace­fully. Alisha Boe looked good playing their young coach but didn't bring much talent to her part. “Poms” was rated PG–13 for language and sexual content—no nudity. It has a running time of 1½ hours. It was mostly about women's friend­ships playing off competitive sport.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

I found this film endearing and was touched more than I expected to be. The plot was well tailored to the biddy stars. It was a feel-good movie par excellence. I recommend it to anyone who doesn't favor the extremes.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good for Groups. Suspense: A few suspenseful moments. Overall movie rating: Three and a half stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611. Rev. 1769. Software.

Faulks, Sebastion Devil May Care. Copy­right © 2008 by Ian Fleming Pub. New York: Doubleday, 2008. First US edition. Print.

Rogers, Kenny. Songwriter Don Schlitz. “The Gambler.” Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Pub. LLC. WEB.