It’s never too late to follow your dreams, as retirement community residents form a cheerleading squad to prove they’re still alive and kicking. When Martha (Diane Keaton) moves into Sun Springs, Ga., she organizes her fellow neighbors, including Sheryl (Jacki Weaver), Olive (Pam Grier) and Alice (Rhea Perlman), and they enter a contest for 18+.
It’s “The Golden Girls” meets “Bring It On,” although written by Captain Obvious. Its thoroughly by-the-numbers construction – a predictable comedy with archetypal characters drawn in broad strokes – uses every cliché about aging and senior citizens that’s been thought up. Oh, they have a new lease on life!
To provide conflict, the plot, co-written by director Zara Hayes and screenwriter Shane Atkinson, goes to preposterous lengths in its attempt to make the cool kids the bad ones. One high school cheerleader, who gives the seniors a hard time, becomes insufferable and unbelievable as a mean girl caricature. So is the controlling Southern belle who wants to shut down the fun-agers.
The name talent tries hard – and the movie benefits from the warm friendship developed between Martha and Sheryl. Both Oscar winner Diane Keaton and Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver strike the right tone as single women – one straight-laced and the other, well, a little racy.
Their bond creates some genuinely touching moments. Had the script not been as generic as their cookie-cutter homes, it could have had some zing.
It is what it is – to some, a crowd-pleaser aimed squarely at a certain age, just in time to take Mom and/or Grandma to the cinema. To others, a shameless manipulative story to make senior citizens laugh at their predicament.