Oh yeah– that other movie this weekend.
Generally when a juggernaut hits theaters (Avengers, Jurassic World, The Hunger Games), competing studios freely give up the week, preferring to not have their own film get lost in the madness.
But since we’re at the holidays, and since more people go to the movies at the holidays than any other time of year, well… Universal Pictures is pleased to offer Sisters as alternative viewing enjoyment.
And let’s all be glad they did.
The latest project from former SNLers Tina Fey and Amy Poehler is a teen drinking party movie for adults (not grown-ups, though– there’s a difference), and it’s easily right up there with Trainwreck and Spy in the Funniest Movie of 2015 discussion.
Maura (Poehler) and Kate (Fey) are disparate sisters– Maura is the responsible, got-it-together one, while Kate, when we meet her, is losing her job, her home, and her daughter in one fell swoop. But when their parents (Dianne Wiest and James Brolin) decide to move into an Orlando retirement community, Maura and Kate come together– in solid agreement that there would be no better way to send off their old childhood abode than with a party to rival Animal House (or, for the young’uns in the crowd, Project X).
To be sure, there’s very little in the way of refined humor in Sisters. This is not a witty satire with complex, smart comedy. It’s a bawdy, booze-fueled romp that rivals anything in the Seth Rogen oeuvre, though the hilarity here has the added benefit of being aimed squarely at the over-35 crowd.
Fey and Poehler, as we’ve seen time and again, are among the best in the comedy game, and that fact is only heightened when they team up. For this ride, they’ve also brought along many of their former Saturday Night Live castmates, including Kate McKinnon, Rachel Dratch, Maya Rudolph, and Chris Parnell. It’s Bobby Moynihan, though, who comes dangerously close to stealing the move right out from under Fey and Poehler with his consistently hilarious turn as a drug-fueled crazy man.
Director Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect) keeps the party humming right along, even when we arrive at the inevitable warm, gooey center, and the script by former SNL head writer Paula Pell is brilliant, particularly in its ability to find humor in everything– including colonoscopies, Game of Thrones, and a ballerina music box.
I often mock Adam Sandler for his penchant for gathering his friends to just hang out and make a goofy movie together. Turns out that concept isn’t the problem; it’s the end result. Because Fey and Poehler just showed how it’s done.