Tina Fey and Amy Poehler play middle-aged siblings in the movie Sisters.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler play middle-aged siblings in the movie Sisters. Photo Contributed

Movie Review: Sisters

TINA Fey and Amy Poehler join forces in the fresh and funny comedy Sisters.

The duo, both of whom are alumni of Saturday Night Live and have hosted the Golden Globes for the past three years, play siblings who seem incapable of growing up.

Fey and Poehler excel in this gleefully irreverent, scatological comedy.

Its heroines are 40-something sisters who, for different reasons, seem incapable of growing up.

Fey plays Kate, a beautician who has nowhere to live, no job and no prospects.

Poehler is the serious sister, divorced but hyper-responsible and trying to micro-manage the lives of everybody she encounters.

In Orlando, Florida, their parents (Dianne West and James Brolin) want to sell the family home, leaving Kate and Maura with just a weekend to clear out their childhood rooms.

They decide to throw one final party in the house and invite their old school friends (played by a range of comedy actors including Maya Rudolph, John Leguizamo, John Cena, Bobby Moynihan and Ike Barinholtz).

Much of the humour here (ornaments stuck up rectums, jokes about defecation and masturbation) is very base, indeed.

What makes Sisters seem so fresh and funny, in spite of its recycling of old gross-out gags, is the sly wit of Paula Pell's screenplay (Pitch Perfect's Jason Moore directs).

There is poignancy and grotesquery in the sight of Kate, Maura and their middle-aged friends behaving far more badly than they ever did during the teen years they miss so much.

Much of the film revolves around the rave the sisters throw in their suburban Florida home.

As in Blake Edwards' The Party, the plot features a series of increasingly elaborate visual gags involving the household fixtures.

Ingenious use is made of swimming pools, washing machines, lofts, cupboards and partitions as the revellers wreak total havoc.

The most telling line comes when they're told that if they don't start behaving, someone will call their "children".

Amid the flatulence jokes, the filmmakers make resonant points about the narcissism and insecurity of the protagonists, who cling to memories of their childhoods like drowning women to their rafts.

Sisters opens nationally on Thursday.


Stars: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, James Brolin, Dianne West.

Director: Jason Moore

Rating: MA 15+

Reviewer's last word: This fresh and funny comedy about two sisters who won't grow up makes clever use of good old gross-out gags.

Tina Fey

Quirky fact: Is a huge fan of the Star Wars movies and often uses references to the movies in her roles and writing.

Best known for: 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, Mean Girls, Date Night.

If you like this movie you'll like these: Mean Girls, Daddy's Home, The Night Before, Old School.

Quote: "I had a great time doing (Sarah Palin) but it was one of the strangest things that's ever happened to me. You can grow up thinking, 'I want to be on Saturday Night Live one day' or ' I want to be in a movie someday', but you never think 'I hope there's a politician who looks just like me'."

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