Fey, Poehler’s Sisters trailer debuts

16 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Here’s a taste of how funny (or not, remember Baby Mama?) Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s Sisters is.

The new comedy, which is due in Australian cinemas in January 2016, marks another collaboration between the former Saturday Night Live pals after Mean Girls and Baby Mama. The first full trailer for Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s new film Sisters looks every bit as fun-filled and watchable as can be expected from the two leading comedians.

Tina Fey has admitted that she was once mistaken for a prostitute in a casino in Monaco as part of a ‘True Confessions’ game on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show. Directed by Pitch Perfect’s Jason Moore, the film stars Fey and Poehler as estranged sisters who decide to throw one last party at their parents’ house after they put it on the market. Magazines churn out regular odes to their highly publicized best-friendship, while everyone from Lorne Michaels (“Weekend Update,” 2004-06) to the Hollywood Foreign Press (“The Golden Globes,” 2013-15) has lined up to capitalize on the pair’s winning chemistry and book them for a joint hosting gig. Fallon was grilled over the truth of his story that he was once robbed by a drug dealer with a sawed-off shot gun, while Poehler was questioned over her story that she once helped Yoko Ono cross the street in New York.

Poehler plays “perfect sister” Maura, who is recovering from her recent divorce, while Fey plays “the other sister” (read: the naughty one) Jane. The film has everything fans want from their Tina and Amy team-ups: Platonic sisterhood made literal, an odd couple pairing, goofy dance-offs, wacky outfits, rampant hedonism, celebrity cameos (Maya Rudolph, Ike Barinholtz, Samantha Bee, Bobby Moynihan, etc).

To help Maura put her emotional baggage behind her, Jane suggests the sisters throw a big party – something they were never allowed to have when they were younger. Cue ensuing hilarity, domestic mayhem and Poehler’s new love interest getting her ballerina music box stuck in an unmentionable place in the bedroom. It’s certainly not the most original premise from writer Paula Pell, who has plenty of SNL credits to her name, but it’s more than enough for Pitch Perfect director Jason Moore to work with. I met Amy Poehler waiting outside “SNL” when I was fourteen (Host David Spade, musical guest Jack Johnson, March 2005, 2/5 stars) and I cried real tears because I was so happy to meet her. These were my comedic idols and I have loved watching the world come to appreciate them as I once did, feeling an almost maternal pride (age discrepancy be damned) as they have risen to become two of the biggest names in comedy.

Add in a supporting cast that includes Kate McKinnon, Maya Rudolph, Heather Matarazzo, Rachel Dratch and Bobby Moynihan and how could you not be excited to see this movie? While all these shows are adored by comedy fans, they never found huge audiences, because the comedy was too niche and clever to be packaged and consumed en masse: Sly, edgy, smart, subversive, absurd. “Sisters” — written by “SNL” writing vet Paula Pell and directed by “Pitch Perfect’s” Jason Moore — looks like the exact opposite of the projects that made them great. It’s fitting, in a movie about regression, that the movie itself feels like a regression to their last ill-fated big-screen collaboration — the disappointing odd-couple comedy “Baby Mama,” one of the pair’s greatest missteps — and a world away from the cerebral wit of Leslie Knope and Liz Lemon. Maybe the trailer doesn’t do the film justice, but the jokes here feel slapsticky, broad, and totally off brand: Trying on dresses where their boobs fall out, setting things on fire, falling through ceilings, having ridiculous hip-hop dance-offs, and issuing punny sexual innuendos like “I bet working on other people’s bushes makes you wanna whack your weeds.” Where are the women who gave us Galentine’s Day and Lizzing (a combination of laughing and whizzing)? Dating back to her “SNL” days, she has always been at her funniest when she lets her zany intellect shine through, not when she forces herself into dumbed-down slapstick.

So the choice to peg her as ditzy, heavy-drinking woman-child prone to wearing printed graphic tees and saying things like “you’re the type of badass that I am susceptible to” just seems wildly ill-conceived. To be fair, it’s the opposite dynamic of “Baby Mama,” where Tina was the straight woman and Amy the wacky one, but that doesn’t mean it works. Both of these women are too talented to be flattened into broad comedic types, which appears to be exactly what Pell and Moore are doing with “Sisters.” And yet for all my reservations, the reaction to trailer was almost universally positive.

Because the trailer is a literal enactment of everyone’s fantasy vision of their BFF-dom (and arguably, a projection of our imagined friendship with them). The movie might be great, and maybe I’m just getting overprotective over my teen idols, two grown-ass women who can fully make their own choices about what movies to star in. We’ve seen men cash in on the Friendship Industrial Complex time and time again (“Anchorman 2,” all the “Hangover” movies, anything with Rogen and Franco), and there’s no reason that Amy and Tina shouldn’t be able to do the same.

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