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4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing if crude sister act
By E.M. Bristol VINE VOICE on December 23, 2015
While movie characters of, shall we say, advanced age were busy finding themselves on the Appalachian Trail or taking on hip internships this year, their younger counterparts seemed to be clinging to a long past adolescence or finding themselves unexpectedly covered with various unpleasant substances. So it goes in "Sisters," in which Tina Fey and Amy Poehler play siblings whose parents have the colossal nerve to put their childhood house on the market because they are happier living in a retirement community, and decide to hold one last house party. Is this yet another Hollywood comedy with lots of lowbrow humor? Yes. It's not as hilarious as "Spy," but it's definitely several notches above "Vacation," and "Hot Pursuit." I don't know if this was due to holiday spirit, but most of the audience in my theater was giggling throughout this movie. Do not expect much in the way of dry Brit-like humor here.
Amy plays the "good" sister, a divorced nurse, who hasn't had much of a love life, unless you count handing inspirational cards to quasi-homeless men. To her rescue comes Tina Fey, a single mom whose daughter has been staying elsewhere lately and who has just lost her job in a hair salon. Amy takes on the job of breaking the news to Tina, as they take a road trip to their Florida hometown, a place in which it seems they are the only ones to have ever left. Reading their old diaries and getting nostalgic, the sisters decide to co-host a house party, to which they invite all their former high school classmates. This includes Maya Rudolph, as Tina's former friend, who is annoyed at initially being left out and vows to take revenge. Another guest is a cute neighbor (Ike Barinholtz), whom they've just met, and whose skills at fixing drywall come in handy after the party spins out of control. Unfortunately, he won't leave the party unscathed, the circumstances of which involve a childhood memento that gets lodged in an unexpected crevice.
Both sisters, of course, will learn life lessons over the course of the evening and emerge a little wiser, if a little battered. Their house, however, won't be quite so lucky, but in these kinds of movies, several fixing-things-up montages generally make everything come out right.
The cast includes multiple veterans of late night comedy sketch shows, all of whom do a valiant job with sometimes not-very-funny material. The parents, played by Josh Brolin and Dianne Wiest, are also funny, especially at the end when they finally tell their daughters to get a life of their own. Overall, this is the kind of movie you'll find amusing if you're stressed from the holidays, don't mind crude humor and are a fan of Fey and Poehler. Otherwise, you might want to wait for "The Danish Girl."