As individuals, both Amy Poehler and Tina Fey have been a part of some great comedies. Whether it’s Saturday Night Live, Parks And Rec, or any number of other projects they’ve worked on, they’re very entertaining. They’re easily two of the funniest women in Hollywood, and would rank near the top of a funny people list not filtered by genre. They did great work hosting the Golden Globes together.
But SISTERS was a big disappointment.
I like the idea that these two women are such good friends and have such good chemistry together and can play off each other like some of the best comedic duos of the past 100 years, but something went seriously wrong with SISTERS.
The premise of the film is underwhelming, as we’re supposed to believe that two women in their mid-40s care so much about their parents selling their childhood home that it would cause them to go through mini crises and hold onto it, kicking and screaming. Perhaps if they were in their early 30s, it would work better. If they were in their 20s, they might even be somewhat sympathetic. And while I realize that part of the absurd humor of it all includes the fact that, at 40, they should be able to move on and let it go, it just felt too contrived, and they took things too far.
About half of the jokes fell flat for me, whether they were coming from Fey and Poehler or some of the supporting cast, and that doesn’t bode well for the film as a whole. Especially disappointing because there were quite a few decent names in the supporting cast.
Maya Rudolph’s character provided a couple laughs, but for the most part was boring. While the intent of the character was to be the prim and proper anti-thesis of Fey and Poehler, there are plenty of examples of characters like that who are still able to provide plenty of entertaining moments.
Ike Barinholtz provided one of the funniest moments in the film when he lands awkwardly during the party, but for the most part, he didn’t have much to work with in this role.
The most entertaining part about seeing Dianne Wiest and James Brolin as the parents in this film is the fact that they also play the parents on the television show LIFE IN PIECES, which is far funnier than this film.
Bobby Moynihan’s character is known for trying too hard to be funny, and while Moynihan’s performance is decent, the character is so annoying that he’s not very enjoyable at all. Samantha Bee has a small role, but does a decent job with it. I suppose the same could be said for Rachel Dratch, but I don’t particularly like her as an actress.
John Leguizamo does a decent job of acting in this film, but there’s no real signature moment for his character that I recall.
Surprisingly, John Cena does an above-average job in his role. Granted, the former pro-wrestling champion doesn’t have as much depth of character as he did in TRAINWRECK, but he plays way off type from what he does on television (which is very true to his real personality) and he makes it believable.
There were a few funny moments in the film, and by “a few”, I mean four:
- Tina Fey trying on dresses
- Fey and Poehler dance routines
- John Cena listing off what he brought with him
- Ike Barinholtz landing funny
While I’m sure some people will watch this movie regardless of what they read here, and some will enjoy it, SISTERS isn’t a very good movie. There are a few laughs, but there are just as many moments where things just go a bit beyond absurd into the lame realm.
My rating: 50 out of 100