Starring: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, John Cena, Maya Rudolph, John Leguizamo, James Brolin and Dianne Wiest. Written by Paula Pell, directed by Jason Moore. Running time 113 minutes, budget $30 million.
They're two of the funniest performers around, they were both leads in their own sitcoms, 30 Rock (Tina Fey) and Parks and Recreation (Amy Poehler) and they've also co-hosted the Golden Globes ceremonies three times. So expectations going in to Sisters, their third movie collaboration, were exceedingly high and so it's somewhat disappointing to say that although this film is funny (and it is) it's not better and that's a shame.
The plot is simplicity itself. Two middle-aged sisters, Maura and Kate Ellis discover their parents are selling the family home and decide to hold one last massive party to recapture their youth and much mayhem, hilarity and soul searching ensues. Maura (Amy Poehleer) is a recently divorced nurse with an obsessive desire to help everybody and a morbid fear of her parents dying, she's controlling and during her youth the designated 'party mom'. Tina Fey plays Kate - the polar opposite sister who shagged and roared her way through life but is now a homeless, failed hair-dresser and nail technician, who's also a single mom to an embarrassed college-aged daughter and for one night only the sisters swap their roles for the party.
They invite all their old friends, plus the handsome next-door neighbour, to the party and discover a few home truths while they indulge in an almost sex-free orgy of drugs, alcohol and wanton destruction of the family home. This is a film of three parts, Pre-Party, The Party and Post-Party. The Pre-Party is the funniest as we get to know the two sisters and they prepare for the party, the Party itself is funny but a tad flat as the stage is set for the final part, the Post-Party part, where the plot finally intrudes and valuable life lessons are learned, home-truths revealed and the whole family move forward for a peeked at better future.
This is a funny film, indeed a laugh out loud funny film, but it's a tad flat at times, the plot barging into the third act is annoying and the obligatory life lessons learned are cringe inducing and unnecessary. The humour is extremely coarse and half of the fun is seeing Fey and Poehler really cutting loose and not being afraid to go for it. And while male-lead comedy films become more and more pedestrian and generic, it seems the women are stepping up and showing how it should be done.
Here's hoping Poehler and Fey's next film project is one they write themselves, it would be awesome. 7/10