USUALLY everything Tina Fey and Amy Poelher touches turns to comedy gold.
But even even these all-American alchemists can’t make Sisters more than the sum of its parts, which is mostly ham.
When their parents decide to sell their Florida family home and downsize to a “trendy” sheltered accommodation spot (hey, it’s Florida) sisters Kate and Maura Ellis experience an existential crisis. Stricken with grief over the loss of their childhood house, they decide to throw one last raging party for old times sake.
Only it’s not quite the same when you’re over 40 and one of you has a teenager daughter. Cue plenty of sepia-toned sisterly moments from director Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect) as the stunted pair start to finally grow up.
It’s such a shame to see Fey and Poehler in something that is clearly second-rate. They should both be at the cutting edge of comedy in Hollywood and instead are producing B-Movies like this (and 2008’s Baby Mama) which are lightweight and predictable.
That said, there are some stand out elements in Saturday Night Live (SNL) writer Paula Pell’s script.
First up is Fey, who just lets the f**s fly as crude and regressive single parent Kate. Seeing her, at 45, cussing someone out like she was in high school is a delight. It just is. I could watch her do it all day.
Sadly for Poehler, Maura is the boring to to Kate’s barmy. She only really shines in a handful of scenes, including one wincing moment with a potential lover and a ballerina jewellery box turned inadvertent anal dildo. Well, it’s certainly memorable.
Another highlight is the roster of SNL favourites that the two matriarchs bring along with them.
Pals putting in an appearance include Maya Rudolph, of Bridesmaids fame, as the spiteful Brinda. But getting the biggest laughs by far is the exuberant Bobby Moynihan who over acts his role as an annoying would-be comedian to perfection before going full slapstick in the party scenes.
Lastly is WWE wrestling champion John Cena, who has been spotted in a few acting roles of late (Trainwreck, Daddy’s Home). Here he plays taciturn drug dealer Pazuzu. It’s a completely ridiculous role, but then the disproportionately huge Cena is a ridiculous looking man. He clearly has a flair for comedy though, finding the humour in his preposterous juxtaposition with the slender Fey who takes an interest.
Final word: If you love everything these smart girls do then you will enjoy Sisters. But for two of the most exciting names in comedy at the moment, this falls well short of the mark for quality, original entertainment.
If you liked Sisters you should also watch:
- Baby Mama
- Date Night