From SNL’s Weekend Update to hosting the Golden Globes, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are real-life bffs who do us all a favour by letting their friendship shine. While we never got a crossover for 30 Rock and Parks & Recreation, we can still imagine how perfect it would be if Liz Lemon and Leslie Knope shared the same room. They would be like sisters!
Sisters isn’t quite the same thing. Amy plays Maura Ellis, the responsible younger sister who puts the needs of everyone else before her own. The volunteer designated driver and only one to stay sober for their legendary “Ellis Island” house parties – to make sure everyone else is okay. Not too far fetched from Leslie.
Tina plays Kate Ellis, mother of a teenage daughter who has a hard time holding down a job and place to live. She’s known for her wild side. Very unlike Liz.
When they find out their parents (Dianne Wiest and James Brolin) are selling their childhood home, they must return to Orlando and clean out their old bedroom. After going through their things, reading diaries and recalling memories, they decide to have one last bash.
Of course, everyone they knew is in their 40s so it doesn’t quite go as planned – until it does. This is when Sisters has a tendency to go over-the-top. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Some scenes drag too long, such as the music box scene, or many with Alex (Bobby Moynihan), the guy who tries to be funny but never is – though he is when he isn’t trying.
But then there’s enough hilarity spread out over the course of the movie to keep it all together. Maya Rudolph’s Brinda is a hoot and a hollar, as are other SNL alums Kate MacKinnon (as Sam, the lesbian friend) and Rachel Dratch (as Kelly, the weepy friend), as well as John Cena, who surprised in Trainwreck and he comes to do it again as the deadpan-faced drug dealer.
All in all, with a familiar plot containing such an outstanding cast, the humour doesn’t make up for it. Like a latter-half SNL skit, it’s mostly funny, but when it’s over you realize that it was just filler.
Sisters is enjoyable and offers plenty of laughs, but it doesn’t have it to join the ranks of the decade’s holy trinity of female-driven comedies Bridesmaids, Spy and Trainwreck. However, it still entertains and that’s really enough.