Tina Fey, Amy Poehler. Directed by Jason Moore. Written by Paula Pell.
I’ll pretty much take a look at anything Tina Fey and Amy Poehler do together, and they are the main draw in Sisters. The story is weak from its premise to its execution, but Fey and Poehler bring all their silliness, smarts, and camaraderie, and that’s pretty much all they need. Letting them do their thing is good enough to guarantee that the worst a film can be is mediocre.
This film is not the worst it could be. There are some pretty good laughs amid cheap plot devices (can we please declare a moratorium on adults performing some dance routine they worked out when they were kids?), such as a really funny exchange between Poehler and a Korean manicurist where each has an impossible time pronouncing the other’s names. Still, poignant moments that are supposed to tie together scenes of crazy partying just aren’t satisfying, partly because the film sleepwalks its way through an unimaginative, restricting story.
Fey and Poehler play middle-aged sisters returning to their childhood home to remove their belongings before their parents sell the house. Poehler’s life is full of charity and good deeds, but her lifelong good-girl-ness hasn’t translated well to post-divorce life, and she’s feeling the absence of romance, even if she won’t admit it. Fey is a single mom, ever the irresponsible hedonist who can’t hang onto jobs as a stylist. Her adult daughter is so tired of her flakiness that she refuses to live in Fey’s apartment. With prospects for both sisters looking kind of bleak, the last blast in their parents’ house seems like a desperate effort to relive days then each had more to look forward to than to look back upon, and their high-school classmate guests seem to be equally in need of such a reunion.
You can pretty much figure out the rest, and if you can’t, please see this movie. If you can, you should probably skip it unless, like me, you find the prospect of ninety minutes of Fey and Poehler, in even a yawner of a movie, irresistible.