Sisters (2015)

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“Coming home always makes things better.”

Sisters seems to know that audiences nationwide adore Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. We’re drawn to their charm, humor, and their god’s honest friendly chemistry. And because the film knows this, it abuses their likability. What’s odd, and funnier than anything in this disaster piece, is that such downright hilarious women can make so many bad comedies. Only a few success stories can be found between them. Sisters chooses to frame women as needing men/help not out of initiative, but out of rock bottom desperation. These shooting stars are so blinding and blatantly unpurposed that they come across as mere strident smears than stalwart streaks.

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Maura Ellis (Amy Poehler) is the good younger sister every parent dreams of, now recently divorced and a full-time nurse. She played second fiddle and “mom” growing up with her sister Kate (Tina Fey), taking care of her wild child and hard partying sister. As an adult, per say, Kate’s a trainwreck. The world’s worst stylist and an immature mother to her nearly grown daughter. Maura and Kate reunite upon discovering that their parents are selling the old family home. With that comes a temporary eviction notice to grab their stuff and get the hell out. These women hold onto the past though, and as they switch roles, ever so temporarily, the present loses all of its texture and credibility. Sisters pits us directly in the middle of a war on maturity. Comedies are hard to make, and this movie proves that to be true.

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Practically a flip-flop on the highly overrated but ever quotable Step Brothers, Jason Moore’s film is at the front of upcoming female centric remakes. To me, that’s a giant step backwards for film culture and our dire need for more female driven movies. Like a childish, “anything you can do, I can do better” fragmented state of mind. Women deserve more worthwhile stories, and I’m afraid that this route will only lead them straight into the line of fire of unfair comparisons. Fey and Poehler are smart, and watching smart people play dumb can be funny so long as it’s part of the show. Their theatrics, incessant ad-libbing, and unwillingness to make their characters unique suggests another opinion entirely.

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Some will label this as pitiful. Others might call it elevated. But the only thing about Sisters that surprises or subverts the conventions are its side characters, most of whom are SNL alumni. They provide the most genuine laughs – a tool otherwise unused here – and act as a potential launch site for our leading performers to make a splash or two. That doesn’t happen, at least not as often as it should before we’re left letdown time and time again. The movie pairs together two of our most loved celebrities. The only problem is that it continues their streak of mediocrity. It’s hard to watch funny people make five jokes out of the same scenario when only one would suffice. Sisters is slavishly overlong, unfunny, and remarkable in its ability to spark indifference.

“If it takes a village, I want a different village. Because this one sucks.”

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

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