Tina and Amy give us the ‘Broad City’ crossover promo we always wanted

22 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Review: Great cast can’t save ‘Sisters’.

A lot of very talented and likable people came together to make “Sisters.” Stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are much beloved for their iconic TV characters, longtime “Saturday Night Live” writer Paula Pell contributes the screenplay, and “Pitch Perfect” director Jason Moore takes on helming duties. 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.Dressed in holiday sweaters and flanking a bemused Kenan Thompson, the first spot features the actresses/comedians screaming buzz-worthy words to promote their upcoming hosting gig. One of the main problems with “Sisters” is that stars Fey and Poehler, while clearly having fun together, are not on the same page in terms of their performance choices. 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.

The teasers also show the long-time friends joking about everything from being contractually obligated to talk in unison to dressing Thompson as a snowman (at which they succeed). 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. In addition to the duo’s well-honed chemistry, we can reasonably expect some other familiar faces may return to join Tina and Amy in bringing the holiday cheer.

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.

From its sun-soaked scenery to its party-hardy plot, it would have made for a great summertime hit — especially if it had lobbed off at least 30 minutes. (A 118-minute running time is painfully long for this particular flick.) Instead, it’s going to be released at the same time as heavy Oscar fare and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (you’ve heard of it, I presume?), a fate its stars have humorously acknowledged in the press. 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. Both settle into their roles quite well, though Poehler has a much easier time, considering she just played a goody two-shoes in the last seven seasons of Parks and Recreation.

The film takes a predictable path — planning the party, thwarting the typically awful new couple who wants to buy the house, shopping for outfits and booze galore. There’s also a side plot with Fey’s daughter, who’s been avoiding her irresponsible mother all summer — but ultimately, it’s neither here nor there. It’s also rounded out by performances from SNL alumni, like an excellently manic Bobby Moynihan — spectacularly in his element as an over-the-top jokester — and Maya Rudolph, who brings a textbook high school nemesis to life despite meh dialogue. John Cena also notches a second comedic home run of the year after Trainwreck, playing intimidating drug dealer Pazuzu, who slings everything from heroin to Plan B.

That said, the movie’s major downside is its reliance on an extremely tired stereotype: a Korean character (Greta Lee) with a thick accent who works in a nail salon (ugh), and has a difficult-to-pronounce name, Hee-Won (*yawns*). And hey — when you get tired of this season’s buzzy awards bait and space operas, you could do much, much worse than a comedy headlined by two of the country’s biggest stars.

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