Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are forces to be reckoned with, and together they can make pretty much anything (even long awards shows) funny and interesting. Or maybe we’ve all just been wearing rose-colored glasses the entire time, but when these two get together, there’s an undeniable chemistry there. This time around they’ve teamed up with Pitch Perfect director Jason Moore to bring us Sisters. Does the film deliver on the laughs? Sometimes. Just don’t expect to be blown out of the water with the hysterics.
Maura (Poehler) and Kate Ellis (Tina Fey) are sisters–the former is by-the-book, never-do-wrong type, while the latter is so irresponsible her own daughter (Madison Davenport) has to pick up the slack and lecture her. Maura is divorced and still trying to get over it, while Kate is bouncing from job to job like it’s a trampoline. Having reached somewhat of a dead end in their lives, the one thing they can rely on is going back to their childhood home in Orlando, except they’re horrified to find out that their retired parents (James Brolin and Dianne Wiest) have sold. Still living in the past and nostalgia, the two decide to throw a party as a goodbye.
Sisters is pretty run-of-the-mill in terms of comedy. Its humor isn’t highly contagious but neither is it completely lacking. Fey and Poehler are charming, but there are occasions when their characters are slightly overbearing. However, the two still play off of each other well, as always, but their natural chemistry isn’t always able to truly give the film the proper kick that it needs to get off the ground.
Given that the film is comedic in nature, there was still hope that there would be some more solid character development, especially with some of the issues the film brings up. Not necessarily to the point of drama, of course, but just a little something more than what we’re given. Fey and Poehler rock what they’ve got, but if Sisters proves anything, it’s that John Cena should be in every film, even if only to stand there trying to act tough, but fail miserably at it. Maya Rudolph’s character can’t get over not being invited to the Ellis’s party back in high school and is irate for most of the film, while John Leguizamo doesn’t have very much to do except stand there with a drink.
Sisters genuinely tries to bring really good laughs, but isn’t able to dot all its i’s and cross its t’s. There are moments when you just have to shake your head and go with the flow, but for all its efforts, the film takes off but struggles with its landing. It can be fun and enjoyable, but the spark doesn’t stay alive for very long before all the shenanigans get to be somewhat repetitive and underwhelming.