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Movie Review: Sisters (Spoiler Free)

Updated on December 29, 2015

Foreword

What is there to spoil about a comedy film? The punchlines? That requires a lot of evil intention.

Still, this review might be a bit more sparse since comedies are largely opinionated. One person's raunchy comedy might be hilarious, but to his buddy it's embarrassingly crass with little comedic value. It all depends. So, I'll discuss this in comparison to other works involving the actors and other similar films (like Trainwreck).

Film poster
Film poster | Source

Initial Impressions

It was a fine film starring Poehler and Fey. I'll admit I never really watched SNL during their run (nor do I now but I catch snippets here and there) but I am a fan of the films they're in and the characters they play. By far my favorite work of theirs has to be Baby Mama which, if you enjoy this film, you should definitely see that. I laughed at times, didn't laugh at others. It's not spectacular but if you like what's advertised, you won't waste your money. While promoting the movie, one of the actresses (I believe it was Poehler) said (not word for word), "If you like us, and you like movies about sisters, then you'll enjoy us playing sisters!" That really doesn't describe the film in a nutshell.

The Plot

Maura Ellis (played by Poehler) is the sister who's been divorced two years but can't stop herself from forcibly helping others, also identified as the responsible one. Her sister, Kate (played by Tina Fey) is the polar opposite, living in a friend's house poorly doing a man's hair in said house while daughter arrives to realize she's living off of others again. Together, they come home to realize their parents have decided to sell their childhood home. Before it's sold, they decide to host a party to give Maura the irresponsible experience she's never had.

While the film obviously looks to the tried-and-true perspective of responsibility vs irresponsibility/ being too-uptight vs being too loose, it utilizes other themes as well. There's a very large amount that focuses on characters' age and how it relates to other characters.

Fey and Pohler, playing characters that are usually played by the opposite
Fey and Pohler, playing characters that are usually played by the opposite | Source

Performance

Let's discuss the elephant in the room; traditionally, Amy Poehler plays the crazy girl while Tina Fey plays the reserved type. This film switches their dichotomy. Amy Poehler has demonstrated that she can play both roles extremely well (her character in Parks and Rec does an excellent job in demonstrating both extremes), but Tiny Fey regularly relies on her archetype casting (Baby Mama, Date Night, etc.) There's a reason for this. It doesn't mean that Tiny Fey does the 'crazy girl' poorly but when put up against her co-star, it's just a little lackluster in comparison. Regardless, both characters are entertaining throughout the film.

John Cena seems to be getting around on female-led raunchy comedies and continues playing characters that seem a little surprising from someone who used to headline wrestling shows. You'll also find that this film is overly packed with other SNL characters. Even though I don't watch SNL, I saw plenty of familiar faces.

Tina Fey and John Cena
Tina Fey and John Cena | Source

Target Demographic

That's a bit of a hard thing to evaluate. Here I am, a 24 year old male who doesn't watch SNL but is pretty easy going with movie preferences, found myself easily entertained. WIth its focus on age (those years you're not quite an old person, but you're definitely no 'spring chicken'), it seems to focus more on those who have watched SNL through the years with Poehler and Fey. During the meat of the film (which is very much the house party itself), I can see a lot of younger audiences missing a lot of the humor.

While it's also female-led, it's more gender neutral in its humor as compared to a film like Trainwreck.

Rated R

Expect plenty of profanity and not the easy-going kind (there's plenty of that too). Granted, it is intended to be a raunchy comedy, although it isn't quite as 'filthy' as Trainwreck can be. There's also no real nudity; expect to see a handful of crudely drawn penises and some men and women in kinda-revealing clothes, although this is played for comedic effect instead of arousal. Also, there is some very specific usage of drugs as well.

Closing Thoughts

I enjoyed the film. I didn't have to see it in theaters to like it, and it's not a movie I'll be overly excited to see again, but I didn't feel as though I wasted my money to see it. The comedic beats are good and strong (although I laughed the hardest after a Korean nail stylist and Poehler struggle to say each other's names). Nothing about it is particularly revolutionary, and I still enjoy Baby Mama moreso than this Poehler-Fey film. I guess there really isn't much else to say about it.

Ultimately a little more adult, and a little less funny version of Baby Mama with roles reversed
Ultimately a little more adult, and a little less funny version of Baby Mama with roles reversed | Source

Tl;dr

  • raunchy female-led comedy starring Poehler and Fey
  • A bit more raunchy than Baby Mama, less raunchy than Schumer's Trainwreck
  • Huge cast of SNL actors
  • Focuses on age and time passing just as much as responsibility vs irresponsibility
  • Worth a watch via rent/recording, or if you're a fan of them or SNL in theaters

Do you plan on seeing this film?

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Further Reading

You can see some reviews on some of other Fall movies of 2015.

Comments

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    • profile image

      Kathleen Kerswig 

      2 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this movie. You did a great job of hitting all of the points I would be asking about if I had time to go see a movie! LOL

      Good job! Blessings!

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