Release: 25th April 2016
Format: BR / DVD / DGTL
When their parents decide to sell their home, siblings Maura (Amy Poehler) and Kate (Tina Fey) learn that they have one weekend to clean out the junk from their old bedroom. Unhappy with the news, the recently divorced Maura and her hotheaded sister make plans to throw one final bash to recapture their glory days with their former classmates. As the raging party begins to spiral out of control, the gals soon realize that there may not be a house left once the dust settles.
2016 has gotten itself a bit of a reputation for killing off some of the world’s most beloved celebrities. But look a little closer, and you’ll find that 2015 was actually the bigger douche bag, because it almost killed the careers of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. Well technically it wasn’t 2015’s fault, they pretty much have themselves to blame. But the stinky poo which commemorates such a horrific moment in comedy history is called Sisters.
From the opening groan to the closing snore, Sisters is everything you hate about over indulged funny people. The set-up is overly familiar, but decent enough; two mismatched sisters get together in the hope of sorting out their lives and reclaiming dying memories of their youth. It is a film that speaks to a certain generation. But let’s be honest, it is a mid-life crisis of a movie. It is a Porsche or a divorce dressed up as a light weight comedy. And like all ageing men in tight jeans or women in their mid-40’s parading in mini skirts, Sisters is awkwardly tragic, and not nice to watch.
Now, this isn’t an age or even a gender thing. Poehler and Fey are both young and beautiful, and extremely funny and talented. And even if they weren’t any of those things, we would still watch them become they both have charisma is spades. The problem is that Sisters, for Poehler and Fey, is what the last eight or so years have been for Will Ferrell, or indeed most of the naughties have been for Adam Sandler…tragically un-funny. But let’s be generous here, and just hope that Sisters is just a hiccup; something that can just be swept under the rug and quickly forgotten. Both of these women are at their best when delivering concise, thought-out zingers. The current trend of blurting out gibberish and seeing what lands, only really works on occasion. The true master of this are Seth Rogen and Melissa McCarthy, and even they are struggling with it right now; so let Sisters please be the end of all that…Everything in moderation.
With a who’s-who of Saturday Night Live! casting, it is a wonder that the film somehow doesn’t manage to actually inadvertently become funny. You know something is amiss, when one of the funniest members of your cast is WWE wrestler John Cena. That being said, Maya Rudolph and Kate McKinnon hit a few home runs, while Dianne Wiest and John Leguizamo get a mild register on the mirthometre. Even Bobby Moynihan, who ironically tries waaaay too hard to be funny, gets something right. But for a film with a cast this supposedly switched on to tickling the funny bone, you’ll be shocked at the amount of dead air.
Avoid Sisters if you want to keep opinions of its cast unblemished, because once you witness the painfully unfunny sight of Poehler removing a music box from someone’s ass; that you CAN’T un-see.
Film Grade: D-
Had your fill of naff jokes? No!? Then buckle up for some more abuse of the art of comedy. Because all but three of the Blu-Ray’s special features add up to a helluva lot of ad-libs. Some of these are actually more fun to watch than the movie as a whole, with that familiar sparkle in the main actresses shining through. However, it is just a reminder that Sisters was never really about making a great movie, it was more about some buddies getting paid to mess around on camera.
The feature A Teen Movie…For Adults feels a little like a montage of the word “High School”, whilst simultaneously giving an occasionally interesting look at the film’s conception and production. Then, the film’s screenwriter Paula Pell gets indulged with The Original Sister. This is the cast, and a seemingly lost John Cena, reading excerpts from the diary that inspired the movie. Anne Frank, this is NOT!
Then we have an all but pointless minute watching a VFX shot, and finally a rather pithy and easy-going Commentary makes watching the actual movie a lot easier.
Special Features Grade: C-
There was possibly a moment in history when making Sisters seemed like a good idea. If only someone had just filmed that initial meeting and posted it on YouTube, because it was probably the only time in Sisters’ creation when the film was actually funny.