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Sisters (Tina Fey/Amy Poehler) - DVD Review

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

GIVEN the charisma they displayed when co-presenting the Golden Globes, it’s hardly a surprise to report that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler help to keep the hit-and-miss comedy Sisters afloat with their winning chemistry.

Written by Saturday Night Live regular Paula Pell and directed by Jason Moore, of Pitch Perfect fame, Sisters could best be described as a female Step Brothers meets Animal House. Sadly, it’s nowhere near as consistent as either of those movies.

The main problem lies with the flimsy premise, insecure siblings Kate and Maura (Fey and Poehler) returning to their family home when their older parents (James Brolin and Dianne Wiest) announce their intention to sell up.

Outraged and determined to sabotage the plan, Kate and Maura vow to throw a party that’s ultimately aimed at trashing the place. Yet over the course of a particularly wild night, they must confront their own insecurities.

For Kate, that’s about taming the party animal instincts that have consistently landed her in so much trouble, as well as re-connecting with her estranged teenage daughter (Madison Davenport), while for Maura it’s about letting go of the do-good tendencies that have governed her life, unleashing something a little more wayward and potentially even finding romance.

Admittedly, the plot does suggest plenty of room for a keen mix of bawdy, profane and vulgar comedy with touching family bonding moments (a la films like Bridesmaids) but, in reality, the film is more keen to go for the former at the expense of the latter.

Hence, the profanity sometimes becomes tiresome with Fey’s character, in particular, content to demean herself with acts such as breast flashing (albeit with bra still on) or bedding the bad guy (in this case, man mountain drug dealer John Cena).

More of the jokes also crash than hit, with the laugh-out-loud moments in curiously short supply (save for one well handled mis-pronunciation gag of a name and a particularly excruciating accident involving a wind-up toy and a man’s behind).

It’s therefore down to Fey and Poehler to save the day and – for the most part – they do. The two clearly enjoy working together (having first struck gold with Baby Mama) and their pithy banter here helps the film to overcome most of its more cumbersome elements.

Sisters is a disappointment given the talent involved on both sides of the camera but it’s made watchable and often highly amusing by the comedic prowess of its two leading ladies: a valuable commodity that is not to be dismissed lightly.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 118mins
UK Blu-ray & DVD Release: April 25, 2016