For some reason someone out there thought that releasing a film the same week as Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a good idea. You can kind of see the logic in releasing Sisters this week, I suppose. The studio is hoping to grab the female audience that isn’t interest in sci-fi or Star Wars. The problem is that that demographic pretty much doesn’t exist anymore, especially for Star Wars. Everyone is interested in Star Wars so grabbing some mythical secondary audience just isn’t going to happen.
It’s too bad because folks would most likely have had some fun with Sisters. It’s Tina Fey and Amy Poehler doing what they do best, though not at their best. Maybe it will get some pick up over the Christmas break from folks looking to see something else than Star Wars, but in this case I think timing and mediocrity will turn Sisters into a forgotten footnote of cinematic history.
Director: Jason Moore
Release Date: December 18, 2015
Sisters is about Tina Fey and Amy Poehler playing sisters Maura and Kate Ellis. Maura is the goody-two-shoes and Kate is the partying train wreck and despite the fact that they clearly didn’t do anything together as children they grew up the best of friends. But now their parents are going to sell their childhood home and so the two decide to throw one last “Ellis Island” party recapture their youth and get Maura a new man.
The comedy revolves around the somewhat tired trope of old people doing young people things. Because of this the movie really only survives on the strength of its two leading stars. As is par for the course Poehler and Fey turn it performances and chemistry that elevate the quality of the entire film. A lot of the jokes would just be flat out bad if you they weren’t the ones delivering them, and the fact that they clearly act like sisters in real life makes it all the more fun to watch them joke around on screen. There’s nothing special about the comedy here, but they make it work.
The rest of the film is kind of perfunctory at best. The usual cast of SNL alum march out to deliver whatever comedy they’ve been assigned and most of the movie is taken up by the big party, during which a ludicrous amount of things go on. This includes the destruction and complete drywalling of an attic ceiling as if it was a ten minute project. I can suspend disbelief for most things, but as someone who has put up drywall this is just completely unbelievable. Thankfully it was followed up by a pretty hilarious scene where Ike Barinhotz gets a ballerina music box stuck where the sun don’t shine.
It’s this really weird balance of Fey and Poehler’s honest comedy and the far out slapstick that makes Sisters feel entirely unbalanced. At one point you’re enjoying it thanks to the cast and at the next you’re wondering how you accidentally started watching Grown Ups 2. That’s not entirely fair. One shouldn’t just throw around an insult like that. I went to far and I apologize.
The point being that Sisters is a movie with some jokes that work and some jokes that don’t. It features funny comedians who can take tepid content and turn it into something decent to good. You will laugh and you might even at some point feel something, despite the movie’s insipid ending.
To conclude: this is a movie that is not Star Wars and there really isn’t much more to say.