Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
I was looking for a movie that was sooo not the super-hyped Star Wars film…something that was funny, not dramatic. Something that could really make me laugh. I had seen promos for Sisters and have always thought that the stars, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, work well off each other. I decided that this would be my day after Christmas movie pic.
The Ellis sisters couldn’t be more different. Maura Ellis (Amy Poehler) has always been the straight-laced one, the one that didn’t drink at parties, donated all of her allowance to charity, etc. As an adult, Maura is still the responsible one with a job as a nurse, a rescue dog with one eye and a bend towards charity even when the recipient doesn’t want her help. Her sister Kate (Tina Fey), on the other hand, is completely the opposite. A self-centered individual all about the party, Kate has changed little from her teenage self, living in a friend’s house, losing her job as a stylist and not doing all that much better working from home and embarrassing her straight-laced daughter Haley (Madison Davenport).
When the Ellis sisters discover that their parents (James Brolin and Dianne Wiest) have sold their childhood home, the two are devastated. The house sale is pending on the inspection and all the two sisters have to do is clean out their old bedroom. After reading their old diaries, Kate talks Maura into recapturing some of their past by throwing a final Ellis party. This time around, Maura is poised to be the naughty one, with Kate charged with being the responsible sister, keeping everyone in line without drinking.
Unfortunately, as the party begins, the sisters discover that their high school friends are not the party animals they used to be and Maura is so socially awkward that she is fast ruining any chance at the one person she truly has any interest in – next door neighbor James (Ian Barinholtz). Making matters worse is a vendetta by Kate’s enemy Brinda (Maya Randolph) who will do anything to ruin the party she was not invited to. As booze, weed and some slamming party music revive the party, the Ellis sisters start to loosen up. Unfortunately Kate begins to loosen up too much, breaking her promise to Maura to stay sober and keep things under control.
With the party becoming out of control and the house suffering the consequences, can the Ellis sisters set things straight before the new would-be home owners and the Ellis sisters’ parents get an eyeful of the disaster?
I was laughing even before the movie started. Why, do you ask? Because I bought tickets at a theater with home theater seating and my seat was waaaay too big for me. My feet couldn’t even touch the floor and that set me off with the giggles. Then, the movie started and I couldn’t stop laughing. Sure, some of the jokes are old and most are incredibly raunchy, but I have to say that I really enjoyed myself watching it. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey work so well together, it’s easy to believe that these two are sisters and Dianne Wiest and James Brolin are actually convincing as their parents…and pretty funny at that. John Cena, despite the lack of lines, is also rather hilarious, once again proving that he is an awesome comedy actor.
The storyline – an epic party that threatens to destroy a house at a very critical time for that home – well that is a story that has been done before. It’s classic comedy that is bound to draw a laugh, but not entirely original. And yet, somehow the writers were able to make the tragic happenings in the house look fresh and the funny was in full swing with jokes about sex, slapstick comedy, politically incorrect behavior and more. Then the heartfelt part of the story kicks in – that moment when the Ellis sisters realize that they BOTH have a lot of growing up to do – classic comedy film learning moment and well done at that.
Sisters is an extremely funny film well worth the money spent on tickets. And just in case anyone thinks this is solely a chick flick, I can attest to several men in seats around me laughing just as loudly as the women beside them. For all those needing a laugh this holiday season, Sisters is just the movie for you!