If Sisters represents the best way to counter program an event film release such as Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, better let 20th Century Fox have the weekend – like they will anyway – and be done with it.
The dilemma here: Star Wars, since its seizure of the cultural zeitgeist back in 1977, has transcended ethnicity, religious differences and gender. It’s mostly loved. Well, it might be possible to find some Star Trek fans who disagree, but that’s irrelevant at this point.
However, if you plan to take on The Force in the theater, do so with a film that is at least mediocre. Starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as siblings, Sisters, which opens Friday (Dec. 18), is aiming for those disaffected folks who will be looking for an alternative to that galaxy far, far away. Here’s news for them: there are still alternatives playing in theaters. Sisters shouldn’t be your first choice. It shouldn’t be the last choice.
Confession: the appeal of Fey and Poehler together never hit this writer. Someone informed me that they liked them because they push limits and Sisters certainly does that. However, the movies that push limits best often do so with a purpose and usually feature a sympathetic character.
Maura (Poehler) and Kate (Fey) are the least likeable set of sibs to hit the screen in ages. They’re self-involved, spoiled and incredibly immature, and that is supposed to be acceptable because they’re the aggrieved party courtesy of their parents – Bucky (James Brolin) and Deana (Dianne Wiest) – in this film.
Mom and Dad are retired. Living in a big house and Orlando – just the two of them – and they’ve decided to sell it.
Maura, a quirky registered nurse and Kate, a perpetually unemployed salon worker, object. They pout. They come home to talk them out of it. When they realize the house is going, going, gone, they allow their inner brats to really shine through. They hit infantile stage after meeting the house’s buyers, a couple of snobbish New Yorkers.
The solution to their ills and close-to-mid-life crises? A party with all of their old school buds that pretty much ensures what anyone might expect. The house? The pool? The yard? Hold on to your hat, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Along the way Fey and Poehler unleash all of the expletives and bathroom humor audiences would find in a flick headlined by guys. Good for them. However, in Sisters it’s more akin to torture than humor.
Director: Jason Moore
Cast: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, James Brolin, Dianne Wiest, Maya Rudolph
Rated: R for crude sexual content and language throughout, and for drug use
Running time: 118 minutes
Check for theaters and showtimes at Atlas Cinemas, Cleveland Cinemas, Fandango.com and MovieTickets.com