Sisters Screen 13 articles



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  • The belabored raunchiness of the physical and verbal humor is further burdened with facile psychologizing. There are solid subjects at hand—adults’ seemingly unending adolescence, the burden of solitude in middle age, the unspoken demands of family ties—but they remain undeveloped.

  • Was nervous about Tina Fey as the wild child (her daughter saying, “I need to be irresponsible now or I’m gonna get so hazed in college” is pure Bossypants retrospect), both as a question of whether she could convince and how mean her portrayal would be, but I’ll be damned if the first half didn’t get me to that silly sororal Romy and Michele territory, with an extra helping of vulgarity. Once the party really gets going, it’s a predictable bore, give or take a surprise influx of carabiners.

  • Judd Apatow may not have had a creative hand in Sisters, but with its many drawn-out improvisatory bits, focus on characters in states of arrested development, and mix of raunch and sweetness, Jason Moore's film clearly bears his influence, for better and for worse... As the film's anarchic side comes fully to the fore, so, too, does a tired message about cleaning up one's act.

  • The chemistry between Fey and Poehler, as their characters alternately pick at each other and kiss and make up, is almost too strong: The actresses’ bond is so airtight, their ability to read one another so telepathic, that sometimes they come close to shutting the audience outside of the gag.

  • Sight & Sound: Kate Stables
    January 04, 2016 | February 2016 Issue (p. 64)

    [Fey and Poehler] exercising their talents as actors and producers with director Jason Moore, on a debut film script written by their long-time collaborator Paula Pell, seemed to promise something rather more special. It’s a promise that goes largely unfulfilled in this amiable but plot-light comedy, which seemed designed expressly to engineer the maximum number of cutely daring exchanges between its stars.

  • Family comedies thrive on love-hate relationships, with their tension and ambivalence and creatively worded insults, and I couldn’t help hoping that Tina and Amy would bring some of the bite of Mean Girls to their contribution to the genre. But Sisters is emotionally simple and slack. And stories about substance abuse and codependence require deeper wounds and darker humor in order to earn their overdetermined happy endings.

  • Sisters is entertaining as far as it goes, but it only occasionally feels like it’s going far enough. That’s not something that could be said of Fey and Poehler’s Golden Globes work – and while I laughed a fair amount, boy, did I miss the wincing.

  • The film heads towards wonderful wild destruction but as with the room sequence, carnage is righted with ridiculous ease. Consequences lack weight in Sisters making it fun but forgettable. Perhaps this is too stern a judgement to pass on successful entertainment. Cloud 9 is one of the drugs brought to the party. The brief brilliant highs it offers the user is equivalent to this light comedy.

  • The laughs are there, but given that Sisters runs nearly two hours, it’s disappointing that it aims no higher than a distaff version of the early Tom Hanks vehicle Bachelor Party. Fey and Poehler could be our Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, if only someone would write them an Odd Coupleor Fortune Cookie. Right now, they’re settling for a contemporary equivalent of the Bob Hope and Bing Crosby road movies.

  • Sisters may be too formulaic to pose a challenge to the status quo... but it’s more than just another party-to-end-all-parties bromance with women in the starring roles. The plot may be as predictable as the sunset, but its strong girl-power vibe and steady thrum of rueful early-middle-aged self-awareness keep it from degenerating into the knee-jerk misogyny and mean-spirited outsider-shaming that often turn this kind of comedy into a cinematic bullying session.

  • The simple premise – that two women in their 40s throw a house party in their childhood home in an attempt to relive their glory days – is sort of brilliant. It allows the film, directed by Pitch Perfect’s Jason Moore and written by Saturday Night Live’s Paula Pell, to draw on the best images of the house-party genre without being tired or wan.

  • Jokes that write themselves often weren’t worth writing in the first place, and the first half of Sisters suffers from the fact that the gags feel thoroughly programmed... But as the party goes on, and on, and on, something takes over. Call it the film’s destructive singularity: As the guests keep coming, and the house gets progressively trashed, we find ourselves pulled into, even impressed by, the chaos.

  • Even outside the catastrophe-laden soiree, a generally festive spirit runs through writer Paula Pell’s raucous feminization of “Step Brothers,” finally giving the irrepressible Amy Poehler and Tina Fey a big-screen vehicle that feels sympathetically tailored to their comic gifts.

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