‘Sisters’ Is A Hilarious, Moving Comedy About Growing Up And Trashing Houses

22 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Review: ‘Sisters’ is unfunny misstep from Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

This photo provided by Universal Pictures shows, Tina Fey, left, as Kate Ellis and Amy Poehler as Maura Ellis, in a scene from the film, “Sisters,” directed by Jason Moore. (K.C.

Dix Hills was alive with the sound of “Sisters.” So were Huntington, Bayville, Hicksville, Bethpage and Uniondale when production of the Tina Fey-Amy Poehler comedy, opening Friday, shot all over the Island in summer 2014, returning again for reshoots in January. Bailey/Universal Pictures via AP) CAET484 Their second screen pairing, Sisters, is too much of a good thing, a flimsy premise with an implosion countdown of maybe 85 minutes, stretched a half-hour beyond that. Not bad for a film set in Orlando, Florida. “We got really lucky in this one neighborhood,” says location manager Ronnie Kupferwasser, speaking of the Dix Hills locale where director Jason Moore shot exteriors and some interiors of a house that sisters Fey and Poehler grew up in the story, and in which they’re throwing a last-hurrah blowout now that their parents have decided to sell the home. “Good midcentury modern houses, which was the look we were aiming for,” Kupferwasser, 42, says about the Etna Lane residence. “And we stumbled onto this one neighborhood with one house after another that was perfect.” And he does mean perfect. “The house we picked was up for sale and there was not a family living there, so we didn’t have to worry about displacing a family for a month or so,” he says. The production rented parking space at Five Towns College, about a mile away, to use as a base camp, and shuttled crew to the location. “Since we knew we’d be in a residential area for so long,” Kupferwasser says, “we thought it’d be more appropriate not to leave big trucks and campers parked in front of neighbors’ homes.” The crew ate lunch in the college’s gymnasium. “Sisters” also gave Kupferwasser — whose films include “Black Swan” and Will Smith’s upcoming “Collateral Beauty” — a chance to use a location he had scouted “a few years earlier, an office complex out in Uniondale that has an incredible atrium,” he says, referring to RXR Plaza. “I thought one day I’d have a movie that would fit the specifics of this location. Poehler is heartfelt and realistic as overly caring and concerned nurse Maura, while Fey performs a sloppily conceived caricature of train wreck cougar party girl/single mom, Kate.

Fey seems as if she’s in an “SNL” sketch, only halfway committed to the part, with a wink-wink, nudge-nudge air of irony, while Poehler seems like she’s actually in a movie. The sisters are summoned back to their hometown of Orlando because their parents, played by Dianne Wiest and James Brolin, have sold their cherished family home and need their adult children to pack up their high school bedrooms, filled with ’80s detritus. It’s so tricky to film in a real airport.” Other locations included Delco Plaza in Hicksville, where the movie — which filmed under screenwriter Paula Pell’s original title, “The Nest” — shot scenes at the closeout chain Big Lots and at a beauty-supply store.

Reluctant to let go of their old identities as high school party girls, and to stick it to the snobby new owners, the sisters decide to throw one last rager, for old time’s sake. Toward the end of the party, their dad admonishes the group of assembled adults to “go home before I call your children,” and that wordplay seems to be the premise that launched the whole film — what happens when the middle-aged crowd parties like they’re in high school?

A two-day reshoot in January, with which Kupferwasser wasn’t involved, took place in and around the Jon Megaris salon on Main Street in Huntington. “There was another salon in Huntington we filmed in,” Kupferwasser says. “I guess I’ll know [when I see the film]if they reshot that scene or if there are two different salons.” The film also shot in Rockland and Westchester counties. But Dix Hills sounds like Kupferwasser’s favorite locale. “We made friends with all the neighbors,” he says. “My experience is that there’s always one neighbor who opposes film production on the block. There are some funny lines peppered throughout, and Poehler and Fey are entertaining when they’re riffing together (though many of the best moments appear in the trailer).

There are plenty of great comedic actors throughout, including Bobby Moynihan as a profoundly uncool friend who spirals into a hilariously manic drug haze. Cast: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Ike Barinholtz, Maya Rudolph, James Brolin, Dianne Wiest, John Leguizamo, Bobby Moynahan, John Cena, Greta Lee, Rachel Dratch

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