Friday, January 22, 2016

Movie review - Sisters - By Jordan Dos Santos

R

118 minutes

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler team up as the titular Sisters, proving that you’re never too old to have some of that high school-aged, debauched fun. Poehler plays Maura Ellis, the more responsible half of the Ellis sisters, always playing “party mom” to help cover wild sister Kate’s antics. While related by blood, Kate (Fey) is the perfect opposite to all of Maura’s goodness. In the beginning of the movie, we find that Maura has continued embracing maturity (to the point of being a bore in most every aspect of her life), while Kate has never aspired to achieve it. Maura is financially stable and tries her best to maintain a positive outlook, even though she is coming off of a divorce. Kate, on the other hand, has avoided divorce because she’s avoided marriage, but is stuck in a never-ending loop of quitting jobs and trying to prove to her teenage daughter that she has the initiative to do something with her life.
 
The Ellis’s lives are turned upside down when their parents drop a bomb on Maura, leaving her the duty of spilling the news to Kate: They’re selling the childhood home. With Maura having a deep personal attachment to the home, and Kate needing it more than ever as a temporary fix to a recent eviction, the sisters come back to their old stomping grounds in order to clean out everything they’ve left behind. Upon returning, the ladies are hit with a harder dose of nostalgia than expected. Long gone are their days of throwing epic “Ellis Island” parties. A duel reading through journals leads Maura to a personal revelation, realizing that she’s never had the wild fun her sister used to revel in. With Kate’s urging, they decide to throw one last party in order to give Maura a chance to even up with Kate’s level of party-dom.

Screenwriter Paula Pell is a “Saturday Night Live” alum, using her history with both Fey and Poehler as a way to boost what would normally be an average-at-best screenplay. You can tell that these three know one another’s strong suits and they take full advantage of them. This isn’t the kind of comedy you can take your kids to, but if you’re old enough, it’s a perfect chance to go have a laugh at the movies with your siblings. Crude humor trumps sentimentality in Sisters, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few sweeter moments to help balance all of the chaos that comes with this Ellis Island party. A majority of the supporting players are SNL alumni, as well (Bobby Moyahan, a hilarious Maya Rudolph, and Rachel Dratch are just a few). “Mad TV” alum Ike Barinholtz rounds out the cast as a neighbor who comes along just in time, spicing up Maura’s dormant love life while happy to participate in the party antics for a night. Sisters is simple fun—something you don’t get that often these days at the movies. There are plenty of laughs sprinkled throughout, and enough craziness to leave viewers glad (and a little sad) that the party-hard days are (hopefully) behind them.