Movie Review: Sisters

Sisters benefit from the bestie chemistry of its leads, but that’s not enough to save an overlong repetitive and generic party movie that wastes the talent of its cast.

Two disconnected sisters (Tina Fey and Amy Poehler) are summoned home to clean out their childhood bedroom before their parents sell the family house. Looking to recapture their glory days, they throw one final high-school-style party for their classmates, which turns into the cathartic rager that a bunch of ground-down adults really need.

With two famous comediennes each with their own popular TV shows, it’s going to be a surefire comedy hit right? Well, that depends on what you want.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have no similarities whatsoever to look like sisters, but they have the chemistry to make the movie work. Their scenes together feel genuine enough to make Sisters look like a movie about sisters, or two funny females who have that bond.

While the movie doesn’t waste time to follow through with its premise, the talented cast is stuck in an ill-conceived and generic movie.

The set-up is far-fetched. An old couple decides to retire into a swanky community and sell their house, but their forty-something kids come out of the woodwork to stop them. Two sisters intentionally come up with a plan to trash their childhood home so they can inherit it. The trigger for this plan is a room which hasn’t been cleaned for 20 years and managed to not grow any molds nor get covered in cobwebs and dust.

This plan by the way is Ellis Island Revamped, a reunion party with the high school gang. From this point on Sisters morphs into a generic party movie, but now involving two forty-something women.

In fairness, that hasn’t been done before. However, the movie doesn’t take advantage of the talented cast to churn fresh humor (or at least some funny material) out of its already typical set-up. There’s a repetitive display of crude jokes and high school party hijinks, while the female leads try to reclaim their lost youth.

Tina Fey is miscast as the has been wild one who refuses to get her shit together. Predictably, Amy Poehler plays the overly nice boring opposite who wants to help everyone even if they don’t need it. The rest of the supporting players are an unlikable bunch – Maya Rudolph plays Brinda the grown-up mean girl; Bobby Moynihan plays Alex the obnoxious attention-seeker desperate for a laugh; John Leguizamo plays Dave the loser; Kate McKinnon plays Sam the stereotypical lesbian, and Rachel Dratch plays Kelly the sad old sack. There’s a Korean actress(es? I dunno they barely register) here but she’s stereotype. The rest lack any nuance to register. Ike Barinholtz is charming enough, but ends up in an overlong joke and his character has no chemistry with Maura. At least there’s John Cena, who plays an amusing drug dealer.

These characters let loose and accomplish the sisters’ plan in unsurprising ways, until the movie peaks into a literal climax of letting go. Even though Kate is strapped for a cash, racking up to $200,000 of property damage isn’t much of an issue as the rest of the characters are loaded. The party movie finishes with a neatly wrapped up ending where life lessons are finally learned.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler look like they’re having fun here. They can finally sex it up after playing undersexed workaholics in their respective shows. Sadly, they’re stuck in an unfunny movie. If you’re into low brow humor that includes dick jokes and a bunch of middle-aged adults acting like drunk teenagers, then this is for you. If you want something more that showcases the talents of its cast, then decent Saturday Night Live sketches will do. If you want a better female-driven movie, watch last year’s hits Trainwreck and Spy.

My Rating: 3/10

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