Sisters movie full length review - Comedies Should Be Funny
I've long lamented the golden age of Saturday Night Live when it was fun to watch and made me laugh. With each passing year it's become less and less funny, opting for safe comedy where edgy once reigned.
Now the jokes target not the establishment they once skewered weekly but those who once held more power. They are now the establishment they once made fun of, tossing that edginess aside for comfort and movie contracts. And so many of the movies they make aren't as funny as those old SNL skits were at one time either. Case in point SISTERS.
The set up involves two sisters, the always proper, motherly and safe Maura Ellis (Amy Poehler) and the wild child who has never grown up Kate Ellis (Tina Fey). There parents have just sold the house they grew up in and moved into a condo and expect Maura to let Kate know this by having them show up to clear out anything left behind in the girls old bedroom. Kate, having just lost her job, place to live and what little connection she had left with her daughter is not pleased with this situation.
As the girls go through their belongings, reading excerpts from each other's diaries it becomes more apparent than before that Kate partied hard and hooked up as often as possible. Maura on the other hand was the responsible one opting for trips to help the homeless instead. As they discuss the differences in their lives they decide there is time left for one more big bash in the house, an attempt to mess with the new owners they've met and hate. The goal is to have a huge party with all of their old friends and to do as much damage to the house as possible, to go out in a blaze of glory remembering old times.
The two gather as many old classmates as they can via Facebook and off they go. Of course among the party guests/old classmates are several ex-SNL cast members. None of them do much here to up the ante of their careers. The party involves plenty of drinking, some drug usage and enough use of foul language to make a pre-teen laugh. As an adult I found it sad, as if the actors and writer were doing the same thing they were making fun of with these characters, trying to rediscover their youth vicariously through what seemed more like teen characters than adults.
One of the rules set early by Maura is that Kate be the responsible one this night, the mom figure, the one to remain sober so that Maura can jump the bones of a neighbor she's attracted to and to watch over the guests. Gee, do you think Kate can accomplish this one task? Three guesses and the first two don't count. Will things get out of hand? Do I really need to ask? While I watched this I first felt that this was the kind of story that might be semi-believable were the characters in their late twenties tops. But with two leads approaching 50 I found it a tad off to think that anyone that age would act this way. This isn't ageist or a slam on the two leads, I just found it something I could never quite get my head around. That Kate could remain this way, especially after having had a child, just never rang as something that would happen. That Maura would follow in her footsteps after all these years seemed even odder still.
For me the movie felt painful to watch at times. I know that both Poehler and Fey have done some funny bits in the past as well as decent movies. This is not one of them. WWE's John Cena gets more laughs than either of them as a muscle bound drug dealer and those are small chuckles at best. In the entire length of the movie I found one joke, one sequence, where I actually laughed out loud involving a music box. Other than that I rarely even had a smile crack my face.
I love comedy. I used to love SNL. There are crude movies that I still enjoy and laugh at (PORKY'S for example). I love movies that make me laugh, especially those that can make me do so no matter how many times I watch them. Unfortunately this movie wasn't one that I think I could watch a second time. Even in fast forward it would leave much to be desired. Unless you are a die-hard Poehler and Fey fan my suggestion is avoid this one.