I had a dream about the movie Sisters the other night and how Kate (Tina Fey) and Maura (Amy Poehler) never had the epic “Ellis Island” party I was promised would play out on screen because I saw it in the trailer.
Instead the two characters just talked a lot and worked out their sisterly issues and that was it.
Fortunately the film version of this story delivered on the epic party and the sisterly stuff rather than just meaningful dialogue. Poehler and Fey could probably manage to make that funny, too.
Their chemistry makes a movie that would otherwise be yet another (somewhat) raunchy comedy about a house party gone wrong into a story that people on the older side of the Millennials generation and beyond can relate to.
That is the power of TiPo.
Kate and Maura’s plan to host a party in their childhood home before it is sold to new owners comes pretty early on in the story after some character development to show that Kate is the sister who doesn’t have her life together and Maura is the opposite.
Maura learns about the news that their parents plan to sell the house first and flies to Orlando to try to talk them out of it before Kate finds out and has a meltdown on the front lawn. (Spoiler alert: the meltdown happens.)
From there, after the party is decided upon and Maura and Kate’s parents are busy getting day-drunk at their retirement community, the sisters switch roles a bit.
Kate promises to stay sober during the party and keep it under control so the house doesn’t get trashed and Maura can live it up.
Enter James (Ike Barinholtz), the cute neighbor who Maura tries to seduce throughout the night with Kate’s encouragement.
Barinholtz and the supporting characters (many from Saturday Night Live) provide even more comic relief in the film and add to the chaos of the party as the night goes on.
Maya Rudolph plays the one villian, Brinda, who continually tries to sabotage the party when Kate won’t let her stay.
The cast all works together and the jokes that fell flat for me at least weren’t too offensive or raunchy. And as a comedy nerd I can get used to Barinholtz (The Mindy Project) playing a leading man.
Sisters is directed by Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect) and written by Paula Pell (Saturday Night Live) and delivers the perfect mix of humor and the heartfelt family business from my dreams.
Stars: 2 1/2 out of 4.
“It’s a hard thing to love anyone anyhow.”