Sisters: Film Review
Cast: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, James Brolin, Dianne Wiest, John Cena
Director: Jason Moore
Trading on the Amy Poehler / Tina Fey chemistry that's been such comedy gold at awards shows and seen them collaborate together before on film (Baby Mama), Sisters is at times a free-wheeling blast of frat and humour.
Parks and Rec star Poehler and 30 Rock's Fey play sisters Maura and Kate Ellis, who are summoned back home when their parents (Brolin and Wiest) reveal the familial homestead is being sold and they need to clear out their old rooms.
Poehler's Maura is the more sensible of the pair, a nurse prone to helping all and even imposing when her perkiness is not welcomed; Fey's Kate meanwhile is the party queen, a free-wheeler who's there for a good time and pays no heed to what lies ahead, despite having a daughter.
Returning to their home and overwhelmed by memories of their Deciding to throw one last legendary Ellis party and revel in their reputation, the party is set in motion.
But with Kate and Maura swapping roles, things soon go awry as the chaos eventually escalates.
Sisters is never funnier than when it lets the central pair freewheel from the script.
While it sags in parts and could have comfortably trimmed 20 mins off its run time, Sisters trades well on Poehler's perkily optimistic comic outlook and Fey's natural smarts give it a brittleness and freshness which allow for plenty of unexpected laughs and moments that will catch you unawares.
Gently mocking the move from your perception of how life was when you were 21 to now you're suddenly 42, Sisters manages to tap into both a sly mocking of the idea of growing up and the horrifying reality of how we choose to be civilised at these kinds of dos, rather than completely cutting loose.
Cleverly managing to avoid the plot's flimsiness by using the main stars' innate likeability, Sisters also uses the mix of Saturday Night Live cast and friends (Maya Rudolph's Brinda as the bitch determined to crash the party) to good solid effect. Even John Cena plays up the comedy chops he's already demonstrated this year with his appearance in Trainwreck.
Sisters may feel like it lacks an overall coherency throughout (attempts to inject some sentiment and emotion towards the end with Kate and her daughter border on pointless), but its cross-sex appeal make it worth a view - but don't expect to leave with any other impressions than those Poehler and Fey give you. They're clearly having a blast making it and their infectious chemistry and comic friendship will help you paper over the cracks that pepper it throughout.