Review: Sisters

6 10

PLOT: After receiving the news that their parents are selling their childhood home, middle-aged sisters Kate and Maura plan one last big party to say goodbye to the place.

REVIEW: While some people I know get to bask in the revelry of the Force awakening, who's the lucky guy trying to craft a full review of SISTERS, the flimsy new comedy starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler? Maybe I can work in a mild STAR WARS review in here somewhere. (Here goes: I liked it! 8 out of 10!) It's not just that I've been waiting most of my life for the new Star Wars film or that I saw it on the same day as SISTERS, it's that the latter is such an inconsequential product that needn't be analyzed nor pondered. It goes like this: You like Fey and Poehler and want to see them engaging in R-rated shenanigans that are as juvenile as possible? Then you'll like SISTERS.

Not that it isn't frequently amusing. Truth be told, there are several laugh out loud moments in the Jason Moore comedy, most of them very low brow and goofy. As a sort of RISKY BUSINESS escapist fantasy for the middle-aged set, SISTERS does a fairly good job of delivering silly goods. But it has almost zero emotional resonance; it's highly doubtful anyone will care about it five minutes after seeing it. It provides an okay time and leaves you wanting no more or less.

The two play sisters (duh) who learn with great dismay that their parents (James Brolin and Dianne Wiest) are selling their childhood home in Orlando and moving to a condo. Fey plays Kate, who wears the hat of "the irresponsible one," while Poehler is Maura, the "straight-laced" sibling. Fey is having difficulty raising her teenaged girl, while Maura is trying to get her life together after a divorce, so the news comes at the worst time for both of them. Charged with cleaning out their old rooms (which literally haven't changed since they were teens), Kate and Maura decide they're going to throw one last bash, inviting old high school friends and attempting to give Maura the one wild night she never had. (It's explicitly stated, time and time again, that Kate was a gigantic slut in high school while Maura didn't have an impulsive bone in her body.)

The bulk of the movie takes place at the party, which starts off as a bore but gradually, predictably, descends into immature debauchery. The adults turn back the clock 20 years and find their crazy old selves, drinking, doing drugs, making out and wrecking the house. If there's a plot we're meant to be invested in, it's the burgeoning romance between Maura and the semi-hunky next door neighbor (Ike Barinholtz). There's also an incredibly weak attempt to engage us in Kate's fraying relationship with her daughter (Madison Davenport) but the movie is kidding itself if it thinks we actually give a hoot. This thing is all about pratfalls, vagina and boob jokes, and shamelessly allowing Poehler and Fey to mug, dance and curse for the camera. On that level, SISTERS succeeds for the most part. It just never rises above being a trifle.

As I find both of them inherently likable, Fey and Poehler are enjoyable headliners, though the movie pretty much fritters away the idea that their characters are all that different within the first 20 minutes. After that, they're pretty much interchangeable, but Poehler provides the bulk of the "acting" while Fey incessantly sneers and eye-rolls her way through the movie. The chemistry between them is natural, but like in one of those SNL sketches that goes off the rails, the two often seem to be barely holding it together, just this close to chuckling and looking into the camera. In a way, their scenes seem more funny to them than they do to us. It's cute, but it hammers home the feeling that we're not watching fictional people, we're just watching Fey and Poehler screw around.

There's solid supporting work from the likes of John Cena (I don't know when this guy became a comedy powerhouse but who's complaining), Bobby Moynihan (playing a dork who snorts way too much blow) and Maya Rudolph (as an ex-rival of Fey's who tries to thwart the girls' good time) and the film does grant us a handful of really funny sequences. There's a moment that would seem off-color in a Wayans Brothers movie that is sure to be the showstopper, but in general the film's sense of humor is scatological at the best of times. If that's your thing, you'll enjoy these wacky sisters.

Source: JoBlo.com



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