SISTERS Movie Review – Matches Raunchy Joke for Raunchy Joke
To think of the ‘man-child’ sub-genre of comedy movies that has spawned in the last decade or so, there are a few names that come to mind. There’s the dreck that Adam Sandler tends to vomit out of his brain and release into theaters, and then there’s the hit-or-miss stylings of Will Ferrell who can knock it out of the park in something like Stepbrothers, but then also miss the mark completely with Get Hard. This arena of immaturity populated with dick and fart jokes didn’t seem like the place for dignified ladies, especially when you see how women are treated sometimes in the aforementioned movies. If anyone could enter this cesspool and class it up, but still go elbow to elbow with the boys and match raunchy joke for raunchy joke, it could only be Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. That is exactly what the two have delivered with their new comedy, Sisters.
Sisters opens with Maura Ellis (Amy Poehler) in Atlanta, where she’s a nurse with a heart of gold and a thirst to help out the homeless. Her efforts are sometimes a little over the top and a little misguided. Then there’s Katie Ellis (Tina Fey), who is the elder of the two Ellis sisters, but is the free-spirit (read: loosely employed) of the two. Katie is also the mother of a teenager who is wise beyond her years, though reluctantly so. She’d like to be an irresponsible kid, but her mom seems to have taken up that role. Maura gets the news that their parents are selling the home they grew up in, and thinking that the house would be passed onto them, this news doesn’t please the Ellis sisters. They decide to throw one last epic ‘Ellis Island’ party, like they used to when they were in high school and possibly throw a wrench into the plans to sell the house, and it might help loosen Maura up, as well.
The brilliance of Sisters is that the first 20 minutes are almost unwatchable. It makes you think that you’re about to see the worst of whatever it is that manages to instill inspiration in the skull of Adam Sandler when he makes a bad movie. But then, the movie becomes an absolutely fun ride all the way to the end. It’s as if the first 20 minutes are a middle-finger to the types of films that would never have allowed women to be as creatively expressive as Fey and Poehler are here. They have their moments of debauchery, they talk dirty, they expose skin (but no nudity). They are clearly women in charge and taking command of the film after the disastrous first act seems like it was effortlessly done.
There are a lot of familiar faces here for Saturday Night Live fans, and none of those will disappoint if you were a fan of that show from the era in which Fey and Poehler excelled. Many of those faces are from women you might not have seen in a while, and seeing them able to be funny on their own and not in the presence of men was a great reminder of how funny women can be.
Sisters was genuinely funny throughout and it might more closely be relatable to those who went to high school in the early ‘90s, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be moments here to make you laugh if you’re on the younger side. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have proven to be an unstoppable duo and their chemistry as friends, and in this case sisters, jumps off the screen and it’s like you just spent two hours hanging out with your friends. This is a fantastic alternative if you can’t tickets to that other movie opening up during the Christmas season, you know, the one with the light sabers and such.