Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
United Kingdom/USA, 2019. Sierra / Affinity, Mad As Birds, Rose Pictures, Entertainment One. Story by Zara Hayes, Shane Atkinson, Screenplay by Shane Atkinson. Cinematography by Tim Orr. Produced by Andy Evans, Rose Ganguzza, Celyn Jones, Sean Marley, Kelly McCormick, Alex Saks, Ade Shannon. Music by Deborah Lurie. Production Design by Celine Diano. Costume Design by Amanda Ford. Film Editing by Annette Davey.
The popularity of Grace and Frankie, whose sterile suburban look has been co-opted for this miserably bland film, and the box office success of the superior Book Club have thankfully resulted in more efforts being made to put movies about older women on screen but have also, unfortunately, resulted in movies like this one. Diane Keaton is her always charming self as an unhappy woman who has decided to ignore the treatment she needs for terminal cancer. Choosing to enjoy her final moments to their fullest instead, she sells her home and moves to a Stepford-like retirement community, meeting her colourful and chatty neighbour (Jacki Weaver, why do movies about “old ladies” always have to have the “Slutty one?” Is this the dark side of the Golden Girls‘ legacy?) and is inspired to revive an old dream. In high school Keaton’s ambitions as a cheerleader were thwarted by her own mother’s illness and death, so she gathers up a bunch of women her age from the area and starts a cheer squad. The challenges to this project are many, from the disapproval of the neighbourhood’s activity director (Celia Weston doing her best with a very ungenerous role) to the bitchy young girls they compete against at cheer meets, but putting their reservations aside and pulling together the most courage they can steal from The Full Monty or Calendar Girls, the gals show everyone that it’s never too late to be who you want to be. The intentions are all good here, but the humour is canned and the characters are lifeless, while the make sitting through this one torture no matter how much you love all the women on screen.