Sisters Movie Review & Film Summary
In the last decade or so, the great Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have become one of our most beloved and celebrated comedic actresses and duos. This great team has been close friends for 20 years after meeting at Chicago’s ImprovOlympic, but they first cemented their place in popular culture and TV history in 2004 when the duo became the first female co-anchors of “Weekend Update” on Saturday Night Live. That same year also proved to be productive for the both of them on the big screen.
Tina Fey wrote the screenplay for the Lindsay Lohan led Mean Girls, which also featured Poehler. Fast forward to a couple of years after they left SNL (Tina in 2006 and Amy in 2008), Fey and Poehler both went on to star in two of NBC’s most successful sitcoms of the 2000s, 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation respectively. However, their friendship and comedy pairing continued in other projects. In 2008, they starred in the comedy, Baby Mamma, and more recently they hosted the Golden Globes three times from 2013-2015. Now, they are returning to the big screen once again in the comedy Sisters.
Sisters tells the story of sisters, Maura (Poehler) and Kate (Fey), who learn that their parents are selling the same home that they grew up in. This news does not go over well, and when the sisters arrive at their old stomping grounds to help clear out their old stuff, they decide to throw one last house party.
I adore Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. I admire their wit, their humor, and how they have stayed true to themselves and careers in this current Hollywood landscape. So, when I heard about Sisters I was genuinely excited to see this duo together again and hopeful that they will create a great comedy. Unfortunately, my hopefulness withered soon after the movie started. By no means is Sisters a bad film; it is just not really good either. Sisters turns out to be a mostly wasted opportunity that simply dumbs down and even minimizes Fey and Poehler’s comedic abilities. The whole premise and story are stretched far too thin, and it feels like your average run-of-the-mill millennial comedy. The jokes are a combination of juvenile, lowbrow humor that revolves around sex, booze, and drugs. Sadly, these jokes are not funny and can be seen in a handful of other similar films. When the material does break away from jokes that are common in those awful Zac Efron party movies, the movie does get more enjoyable. However, it never truly amounts to anything rewarding. Sure they are a few genuine laughs and funny scenes scattered throughout the film, and there are also plenty of clever one-liners that you can easily slip into your daily conversations, but it ultimately adds up to a film that is not all that memorable and very underwhelming.
Another major flaw of this movie is that it moves too fast for its own sake. The best way to describe this is to compare Sisters to one of its characters. In the movie we meet Alex (Bobby Moynihan), who is a former high school classmate of Kate and Maura. The sisters are not fond of him because they feel like he is always trying too hard to be funny. In every conversation he has, Alex is always talking a mile a minute and making joke after joke. Now, it wouldn’t be that much of a problem if he was funny, but he really isn’t funny at all. About 95% of his jokes and gags are not funny, and he gets ignored by the people around him; however, sometimes he actually comes across a joke that is funny. That is this movie to a tee. It is nonstop with its jokes and visual gags. It truly feels like jokes are flung at you every second, which in theory is very good, but in reality, this does not allow the jokes to develop and mean something. In the end, most of the jokes do not stick its landing because of this. Another problem is that the movie is too long and because of this it contains several unnecessary scenes just to fill in the time.
Obviously, the one true aspect of the film that saves it from being a total disaster is Fey and Poehler. Their chemistry is flawless, and they work off one another so well. No matter how tacky, average, over the top, or even unfunny the joke is they still find a way to breathe some energy and life into the movie. Their comedic timing and prowess are still spot on, but the only problem is that the screenplay and material are below them. Fey and Poehler deserve smarter and funnier material to work with. In addition to Fey and Poehler, there are several SNL alumni and current cast members that make appearances. For fans of the show, their brief parts are a nice treat. Most notably, current cast member Bobby Moynihan is an absolute riot in his limited role. By the time the house party starts and ends, he has stolen the show. There is also solid work by WWE superstar John Cena, John Leguizamo, and Ike Barinholtz, but don’t be mistaken, this film is dominated by its women, and they carry the film the best they can.
I still encourage die-hard fans and even casual fans of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to watch Sisters. The film is not a total waste, and I’m sure you will find some silver lining in the movie. However, don’t be surprised if you are disappointed at the end. So, after the movie do yourself a favor and go on Netflix and watch some 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation episodes. Then after that pickup either Fey’s excellent best-seller, Bossypants, or Amy Poehler’s Yes Please and remind yourself why we all fell in love with these funny, smart women in the first place.
The cast includes: Tina Fey (This Is Where I Leave You), Amy Poehler (Inside Out), Ike Barinholtz (Neighbors), James Brolin (Catch Me If You Can), Dianne Wiest (The Birdcage) and John Cena (Trainwreck). It was written by Paula Pell (SNL) and directed by Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect).
-By Louie Coruzzolo
Here are our reviews of the other movies that came out this week: Star Wars: The Force Awakens