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Review: Sisters


First off, a disclaimer. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are my heros and really, in my eyes, can do no wrong. The fact that I’m writing a review about their newest film, Sisters, won’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me. I commonly use Liz Lemonisms in my day to day life. But then, if you know what that means you’re likely as big a fan as I. Bias likely ensues, though I have no problem telling you that Fey and Poehler are really the only reason why Sisters works at all.

Long gone are the days where Tina Fey and Amy Poehler sat behind the desk of Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live and became the best part of the weekend. They since have gone on to star in their own successful comedies (30 Rock and Parks and Recreation had seven and six season runs respectively). They hosted the golden globes together three years in a row. They are hands down the queens of comedy and the fact that they are such good friends makes them even more endearing.

In Sisters the stars trade their personas from Baby Mama (2008), with Tina playing irresponsible big sister Kate to Amy’s square and dependable Maura. The two fly home to Florida on their parent’s request in order to reluctantly clean out their childhood bedroom (a wealth of great pop culture references for any 80’s babies). When they arrive to find that their former home is empty and on the verge of sale, their parents happily spending their days in a retirement community, they decide to have one last big blow out, one last party to relive their youth, a chance for Maura to let herself go and finally have fun. If you think you know where the thin plot is already going, you’d be correct. What follows is predictable and overdone, saved only by the on-screen chemistry and talents of its stars.

Its the seemingly improvised moments between Fey and Poehler that prevent this film from tumbling into a pattern of forseeable familiarity. Their expertly timed comedic banter, something that only comes from knowing your sparring mate, is really what audiences have been missing. The pair’s quick-witted remarks, many of which seem completely off the cuff, are what make the film’s funniest moments.

The most notable addition to the pair is the appearance of Ike Barinholtz (The Mindy Project). Here he tries to make the jump from small screen silly sidekick to romantic lead with moderate success, but is sweetly funny. It’s too bad they revealed his best comedic moment in the trailer.

The supporting cast includes quite a few familiar faces, but honourary ‘sister’ Maya Rudolph, whom the pair also recruited during their recent return hosting Saturday Night Live, offers a good number of laughs, even though she occasionally takes a good joke too far. John Cera, who stole the show in Trainwreck (a notable feat beside Amy Schumer), shows that his comedic presence wasn’t a once off blooper. Sure, he may be the straight man, but his deadpan delivery makes for some pretty great moments with Fey’s character.

Without the starring duo, Sisters would likely have been a contrived disaster. Director Jason Moore (who helmed Pitch Perfect) managed to make a relatively cohesive feature from a screenplay by Paula Pell. Pell is a seasoned SNL writer, and it shows, with many aspects of the film feeling like individual sketches with only a thin layer of underlying story holding it all together. Then again, you go to these movies for the laughs, not the story. It’s just a bonus when you get both.

While Sisters has its weaknesses, I’m still hoping it doesn’t take another seven years for Fey and Poehler to make another film together. The duo deserves at least a trilogy under their belt.  Their series are over, their Golden Globe days have come to an end.  The beloved pair need at least an occasional foray together into the masses.  Overall, if you are fans of these comedic talents then there will be enough inSisters to keep you laughing and make a trip to the cinema worthwhile.  Otherwise, you won’t find anything special here.  Though, if Star Wars is sold out again then buying a ticket will help to cheer you up until you can return to Jakku.



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