Sisters (2015)

JASON MOORE

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.  USA, 2015.  .  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by

and  reteam after the misfire of Baby Mama for another comedy contrivance that, while far from flawless, is at least much funnier.  They play sisters, Poehler the successful nurse who is constantly keeping an eye on her unemployed financial mess of an older sibling, who find out that their parents (, ) are selling the family home.  Dismayed by the news and swelling with misplaced nostalgia, the girls head to Florida to prevent this disaster from happening, and when they can’t, they decide to at least mark the occasion with one last big party:  Poehler always regrets being “party mom” and never getting up to the wild and crazy stunts her less contained sister indulged in , and this fete will be an opportunity to make up for the past.  Hitting Facebook for their guest list, stocking up on booze and decorating the empty abode, the girls throw a shindig worthy of ancient Rome and put their home’s future real estate prospects in serious jeopardy with a series of increasingly bizarre accidents. Screenwriter Paula Pell, who also is head writer at Saturday Night Live, has come up with a concept worthy of her stars, but Jason Moore’s wooden direction kills the film’s spirit; for a movie supposedly based around this huge party, there is either far too much setup or resolution, the running time is ridiculously excessive, while the craziest stunts in the party scenes reach a point of contrivance and lack spontaneity.  Forget that Poehler and Fey are impossible to buy as sisters, it is too preposterous a concept to be treated as anything other than a theoretical opportunity for comedy, what’s actually much harder to buy is their trying to switch up their usual dynamic by having Fey play irresponsible and Poehler the one who has it together.  It’s a worthy stab at switching up our expectations, but Fey can never sell it and the experiment doesn’t pay off.

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