Magazine article Screen International

'Sisters': Review

Magazine article Screen International

'Sisters': Review

Article excerpt

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler headline Sisters, a raucous and outrageously (if harmlessly) crude slapstick comedy about two immature early-fortysomething siblings who decide to host one last legendary party at their childhood home before it's sold. Customised for Fey and Poehler by veteran Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock writer Paula Pell, here making her debut as a solo screenwriter, the movie should play well with female fans of the duo, who last shared the big screen together (uncredited) in 2013's Anchorman II: The Legend Continues.

Significant acting contributions by current SNL performers Bobby Moynihan and Kate McKinnon and alums Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, and Chris Parnell should draw in viewers from the show's broad fan base in the US, although these players will have less resonance in the international marketplace for Universal.

Sisters' rat-a-tat wisecracks and some visual gags are much dirtier, however, than those permitted on SNL or 30 Rock,and it comes as a bit of a shock to hear the normally ladylike Fey - who plays Kate Ellis, the older sister - mouth a torrent of barbed, off-colour penis and vagina jokes. Credit to Pell, most of them are pretty funny.

Nothing, though, tops the sustained mid-party scene in which Poehler's younger sister Maura has to help her new-found boyfriend James (Ike Barenholtz) get rid of her long-neglected music box. Just when they were about to have sex for the first time, James accidentally impaled himself on the ornament's tiny ballerina, triggering its constant rotation in his rectum but muffling its tinkling Beethoven tune.

As well as being a trash-talker par excellence, Kate is a confident, bra-flashing beautician whose dissolute ways have provoked more sensible attitudes in the teenage daughter, Hayley (Madison Davernport), she's brought up alone. Tired of her mother's recklessness, Hayley has spent the summer away from her - Kate misunderstands where exactly - while staying in touch. At the start of the film, they face imminent homelessness.

Though grieving divorcee Maura lives as haphazardly as Kate, she is a lifelong prude who in lieu of expressing herself sexually has devoted herself to giving help to others while desperately needing it from her sister and their happily married and sexually active parents (James Brolin, Dianne Wiest). …

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