* * ½ Don
* * * ½ Joyce
(Senior citizen cheerleaders)
Joyce liked this movie about female residents of a senior citizen community living facility who start a cheerleading club better than I did. She saw some good messages about living and enjoying every day to its fullest and female bonding, while I found the movie to be filled with too many clichés and a cookie-cutter plot.
We both loved Diane Keaton as the retired teacher with cancer who moves to Sun Springs to die. Her neighbor (Jackie Weaver) pesters her to get involved in one of the many clubs, but she can't find one she likes. Memories of wanting to be a cheerleader lead her to form a club, over the objections of the people in charge. I suffered through the selection process and rehearsals, while Joyce enjoyed the interactions and bonding of the older women. When things were falling apart, aided by an online post, they enlist the age of a high school cheerleader, who seems thrown in to the story to gain a teenage audience.
It all comes down to the BIG GAME, or in this case, the local cheerleading competition, where they come up against their rival high school squad. It's a feel good ending to a feel good movie that at times hits the target by emphasizing what life could be like in a retirement village but occasionally slips into stereotypes.
There is conflict between the women and an overprotective son who refuses to let his mother compete, leading to some silliness. There is also a subplot about an emotionally abused woman (Rhea Perlman) who finds herself when her husband suddenly goes to that retirement community in the sky.
Keaton's role is a poignant one, as she comes to terms with her cancer while inspiring the other women to find the best in themselves and live their lives to the fullest.
Rated PG with some profanity and sexual references.