Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are two of the funniest writers and actresses in Hollywood, as well as strong and powerful women. They’re also close friends. Separately, they are amazing, but together: they are unstoppable.
In their newest comedy Sisters, Poehler and Fey play Maura and Kate Ellis, two sisters who return home to Florida when they discover their parents’ plan to sell their childhood home. In an attempt to go big at their old home, they decide to throw one last raging party with all their now grown school friends. Through the first hour, you really start to wonder if this is it – it’s a bit slower, not much storyline, some of the jokes don’t stick the landing (except for a golden scene where the girls clean out their childhood bedrooms and go through their old diaries). But then, it really picks up – things get thicker when we find out more about Kate’s relationship with her daughter, and we learn more about Maura’s character as their party gets completely out of hand – things get broken and messy, as does Kate and Maura’s relationship. And then the film becomes not just about partying, but about family, and parenthood, and most importantly about getting old. Sisters reminds older people that they aren’t too old to party like they used to, and it also reminds younger people that their parents once did literally everything they do now at parties, but the film never loses its sense of fun as it does so.
Because Sisters is a really fun comedy. It encompasses many types of comedy: witty, sexual, gross out, physical, and cocaine comedy (is there a term for that?), and for all the jokes crammed in, not many fall flat or feel cheap, as the party’s crazy antics slowly destroy the Ellis home (brilliantly nicknamed Ellis Island). A few jokes perhaps run too long, like Maura’s back and forth with her Korean nail artist, or a cocaine fuelled game of charades, but mostly it is laugh after laugh, and the best part is that, in some scenes, you can see the cast having fun with it.
Poehler is hilarious and relatable as divorcee Maura, and her performance is even vulnerable at times as she opens up to love interest James (Ike Barinholtz). She and Fey’s outrageous yet loveable Kate have brilliant chemistry, and this makes not only their quirky characters believable, but also their relationship as sisters realistic and full of love. A great supporting cast of mostly Saturday Night Live cast members also perfectly complements Fey and Poehler’s comedic style.
It’s not the perfect comedy, occasionally slipping in terms of story or a joke or two, but what pulls it through is Poehler and Fey’s ability to play funny characters that aren’t just one dimensional, and also make you laugh every thirty seconds. This, coupled with a script by Paula Pell about more than just a party – about growing up but not growing boring, and also about sisterly love – makes seeing Sisters a solid, funny day at the movies.
Here’s a list of my top 5 favourite films and TV shows starring the awesome cast of Sisters:
- Parks and Recreation – Amy Poehler
- 30 Rock – Tina Fey
- Mean Girls – Tina Fey and Amy Poehler
- Big Hero 6 – Maya Rudolph
- Bad neighbours – Ike Barinholtz