Movie Review: Sisters… Bullseye!

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Sisters’ review: Tina Fey-Amy Poehler comedy two scoops of poop.

Such is the magic of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the dynamic duo at the playful, prurient, occasionally perverse heart of “Sisters.” As temperamental opposites who happen to be siblings, the women who for years have given the Golden Globes ceremony its zing — and who made the underpraised comedy “Baby Mama” such a revelatory pleasure — here spin an otherwise slender premise into antic, quippily lighthearted comic gold.

The multitalented and modest Burnett got candid with FOX411 about paving the way for women in the entertainment industry, her friendship with Jimmy Stewart, and coping with the loss of her daughter, Carrie. Purposefully cast against type, Fey plays Kate, a blowsy 40-something beautician with no sense of responsibility and a troubled relationship with her teenage daughter (Madison Davenport). Her estranged younger sister, Maura (Poehler), is the responsible one, a nurse and bleeding heart who compulsively adopts stray animals and who, as the movie opens, condescends to a construction worker she believes to be homeless by spraying sunscreen on him and telling him to have some moles checked. (Fans of the brilliant Web series “High Maintenance” will be cheered to recognize Ben Sinclair in the role.) When Kate and Maura’s parents announce that they’re moving, the sisters come to Orlando to clean out their childhood bedroom. Rather than purging childhood artifacts, however, they wind up bingeing on memories and fond what-ifs, finally deciding to throw one final blowout of a party, with all their former friends in attendance. Directed by Jason Moore (“Pitch Perfect”), “Sisters” follows the recent “Bridesmaids”-inspired trend of R-rated comedies that trade on bawdy one-upswomanship in the form of vulgarity, sexually charged slapstick and gross-out sight gags. (Screenwriter Paula Pell has a cameo in one of the film’s ickiest examples of the latter.) By turns gently ribald and unapologetically filthy, this exercise in escalating fits of mortification often resembles a spin on “Trainwreck,” assuming that the summer hit had focused on Amy Schumer’s strained feelings about Brie Larson, rather than her pursuit of Bill Hader.

Also, we wanted to be more organized than a mass of videos with no particular order, so there’s a playlist and it gives a place for fans to comment on specific clips; and we’re going to add a new sketch or more every week plus bonus features; they’re kind of wonderful… some with Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Bernadette Peters to name a few. But it never gets its act together while mashing up fragments of the comedy classic Animal House and playing it out like a drug-and-alcohol-fuelled episode of Desperate Housewives. The Fey-Poehler team, with their extensive, overlapping experience on Saturday Night Live, know each other’s comedy beats so intimately that they can actually convince you they are on-screen sisters. Especially the coke-snorting, cake-screwing, Pacino-insulting antics of Bobby Moynihan (a current SNL cast member who does everything from Drunk Uncle to brassy celebrity send-ups, including Donald Trump). What starts as a dull grown-up affair of people sharing about menopause, vaginal rejuvenation and the sundry indignities of aging — “How can one person have two colonoscopy stories?” a character asks — eventually descends into a den of iniquity involving sex, drugs and a bizarre set piece during which a cute neighbor (played with appealing warmth by Ike Barinholtz) runs afoul of a musical ballerina figurine.

In the early ’50s he had one called “Caesar’s Hour” and I thought ‘Wouldn’t that be fun to do sketches?’ So, when I got my show I wanted to do something like that. Unlike Seth MacFarlane, who can push a Family Guy joke sooooo far that it comes out the other side of boring and becomes funny again, the Moynihan approach here never gets even mildly amusing in the first place.

If the outrageous bits of “Sisters” are meant to be howlers — and they admittedly are — it’s the film’s quieter moments that wind up being most memorable. A sequence during which Kate and Maura are trying on clothes bubbles and burps with off-color brio (“We need a little less Forever 21 and a little more Suddenly 42,” Maura mutters).

Of course, it’s patently absurd to believe Fey, pop culture’s go-to hyper-accomplished multi-hyphenate, as a screw-up who brazenly bares her breasts at an onlooker while invoking “poppin’ fresh” cookie dough. The spectacle of her playing Kate is strictly of the “Freaky Friday” variety, while Poehler’s Maura feels like a far more spontaneous and natural extension of the sweetly daffy persona she’s honed since her days on “Saturday Night Live.” Whatever characters they’re playing, Fey and Poehler can be counted on to infuse even their crassest moments with disarming likability. “Sisters” goes for broke in both directions, with winning, helplessly entertaining results. There’s no end to his talent so I was thrilled I was booked on “The Colbert Show” and was hoping I would get to meet him, and I was surprised when he came out and recited that poem. Gloria said ‘Well, I’m not going to get him out of here because he loves to sing.’ Gloria called me the next day and said what a wonderful time they had. The nurse said, ‘She’s always so cheerful and smiling, and I asked her how can she be smiling?’ Carrie told the nurse ‘I’m going to decide to love my life today.’ So I do that.

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