Sisters (2015) Review

Source: Universal Picture copyright 2015

While watching Sisters you will most likely feel as though you have seen this movie before. However, aside from the obvious differences — such as the fact that this time around our two irresponsible adults trying to relive their youth are female — the thing that sets this movie apart from similar films is the amazing chemistry between the two leads. Long time friends, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have a tangible connection that makes their on-screen relationships seem genuine, no matter how ridiculous the situations they find themselves. In Sisters, Fey and Poehler take on the types of characters and outlandish situations usually set aside for the likes of Will Ferrell and the two women throw themselves into their roles, the result of which is a movie much more entertaining than perhaps it may have been otherwise.

Being a reversal of their character types from their previous collaboration — 2008’s Baby Mama — Fey plays the screw-up, college dropout against Poehler’s uptight straight-edge success story. Kate (Fey) is a hairdresser who while being in and out of jobs, has nowhere for her and her teenage daughter Haley (Madison Davenport) to live. While Poehler’s Maura is a recently divorced nurse who is perpetually worried. When the pair finds out that their parents are selling their childhood home, their initial outrage morphs into nostalgia for their past, ultimately leading to plans for one final, wild bash hoping to recapture the spirit of their youth. The problem, for Maura at least, is that the majority of her teenage years were spent cleaning up after Kate. Thus, it is agreed that Kate will assume the role of ‘party mom’, allowing Maura to let loose for the first time in her life. The girls round up various old school friends, offering the opportunity to break from the mundane lives they now lead. From there the chaos begins.

You can easily tell this is not the first collaboration between Fey and Poehler, their characters seem to be more like best friends than sisters. While the two leads deliver the majority of the humour here, there are also some of the movie’s funniest moments coming courtesy of the various supporting characters, from James Brolin and Dianne Weist as their exasperated parents, to Maya Rudolph as the jealous, party pooper Brinda. On the other hand, you have Unfunny Alex (Bobby Moynihan) who is not at all funny in his unfunniness and his role is significant enough for him to become almost annoying.

There is a sudden, but not unexpected, tonal shift towards the end of the chaos as the comedy becomes a tale about redemption and the importance of family. It becomes very obvious that that the two girls are settling into a life of domestic monotony, which serves as a somewhat disappointing end to a film that had been, until that point, about making every effort to avoid exactly that. Even though Director Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect) and writer Paula Pell (a SNL alumni) have ultimately opted for a safer closing, there are enough genuinely funny moments that help to set Sisters apart from the pack.

Score: 6/10

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