Sisters is Great Immature Comedy, for Mature Adults
Directed by: Jason Moore
Written by: Paula Pell
Starring: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Ike Barinholtz, John Cena, Maya Rudolph, James Brolin, Dianne Wiest
Running time 118 minutes
Rated R for crude sexual content and language throughout, and for drug use
Katie Ellis’ (Tina Fey) life is a wreak, she has lost her job, due to her ever present hot headedness, and her nearly grown daughter, Hayley (Madison Davenport), has been spending extended periods of time away from home over the summer, and they have just been kicked out of the apartment where they were living. Katie’s younger sister, Maura (Amy Poehler), has a much more quiet and successful life, aside from the recent divorce. Maura, being the more calm and responsible adult, has been tasked with breaking the news of the impending sale of their childhood home by their parents, and also to come home and clear their junk out of their old bedroom. Maura convinces Katie to come with here to help clean up, without breaking the bad news to her. Katie agrees, believing her and her daughter, can stay with their parents for a while. Katie’s plan to get her life on track for her daughter hits a brick wall when they see the “sold” sign on their old front lawn, and find a house all but empty, except for a bedroom filled with childhood memories. Refusing to go down without a fight, the Ellis sisters decide to throw a legendarily grand party in the house before the new owners move in, the next day.
Sisters was an unusually funny comedy, specifically a raunchy ridiculous adult comedy. This film breaks with the traditional raunchy comedy mold to deliver substantive comedy that uses vulgarity to punctuate the punch line, rather than the vulgarity being the punch line. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler demonstrated, once again, that they can individually support an entire film, and together they can bring down a house. The ensemble cast played well together, while there was copious chewing of the scenery it was entirely appropriate for the overall theme of the film. The performances were generous with no single cast member stealing the spotlight from long-time Saturday Night Live friends.
The screenplay, by Saturday Night Live veteran writer Paula Pell, was very well put together. The story was simple, but surprisingly unpredictable, in a completely predictable way. The moments of the story in this film that were met with a serious tone were handled honestly without dropping the comedic undertones. While the humor was often crass, it was not always so, they kept the balance well. Were it was crude it was justifiably so, rarely straying too the realm of vulgarity for vulgarity’s sake. I would call this a family film for disgruntled parents of a certain age, or an irreverently mature adult comedy for an audience over 30.