Metro-East Living

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are flat-out funny in ‘Sisters’

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in a scene from “Sisters.”
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in a scene from “Sisters.” Universal Pictures

What It’s About

Saucy and sassy, “Sisters” swings for the fences. While not everything works in this overstuffed comedy, there are many moments of hilarity.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler display their comedic gifts as very opposite sisters, with Fey playing the party-girl trainwreck Kate and Poehler the uptight do-gooder.

They head home to Orlando, Fla. Their parents, played by Dianne Wuest and James Brolin, have sold the family home and moved into a retirement community. The girls are aghast and are forced to clean out their childhood bedroom, full of teenage girl chotzkies and a lifetime of memories.

Known for their blow-out parties in high school, they decide to throw the biggest bash ever, inviting old and new friends.

The evening starts out as a dud with their grown-up guests quite sedate, but the switch is flipped and they let loose. It becomes an unbridled evening of chaos.

Performances

The leading ladies completely convince us they are sisters. Fey and Poehler, alums of “Saturday Night Live,” have an effortless chemistry together and are just flat-out funny.

The rest of the cast shines as well. Brolin and two-time Oscar winner Wuest, both starring in TV’s “Life in Pieces,” are terrific as their parents who desperately want to cut the apron strings.

Ike Barinholtz is charming as Poehler’s love interest, and John Leguizamo is funny as a high school wild child now a loser adult.

SNL alums Bobby Moynihan, Kate McKinnon and Maya Rudolph are amusing in small supporting roles.

Just as he did in “Trainwreck,” John Cena practically steals the movie, hilarious as a stoic drug dealer who delivers comical lines straight-faced.

What Works

Screenwriter Paula Pell, an SNL writer, shows that females can be just as bawdy and raucous as guys. As the humor gets more outrageous, the movie reaches new heights of hilarity.

Director Jason Moore (“Pitch Perfect”) keeps things moving swiftly, and effectively adds sight gags and slapstick.

What Doesn’t Work

There is a lot going on in this movie. We have relationship issues — the girls and their parents, Kate and her daughter, Maura and men, and then the baggage from their past lives.

It starts to become a runaway train — after a while, it’s time to wrap things up. While the conclusion is a bit too neat, overall it delivers a night to remember scenario that’s a merry alternative at holiday time.

  • Cast: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Ike Barinholtz, James Brolin, Dianne Wuest, Maya Rudolph, John Leguizamo, Brian d’Arcy James, Rachel Dratch, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Moynihan and John Cena.
  • Director: Jason Moore
  • Rated R (crude sexual content and language throughout, and for drug use)
  • Length: 1:58
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