Sisters review: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's new comedy is our film of the week

 
Melissa York
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Amy Poehler and Tina Fey get the party started in Sisters

Sisters

15 | Dir. Jason Moore ★★★★☆

Only the comedy powerhouse that is Tina Fey and Amy Poehler could walk into a studio and get funding for a gross-out movie for divorced women in their 40s. The result is Sisters, in which Fey plays Kate, a partying single mum who can’t keep down a job, and Poehler is sensible sibling Maura, who has fallen into a lonely cheese-making funk.

Both are distraught when they find out their parents are selling their childhood home in Florida. Filled to the brim with 80s nostalgia, they decide to have one last party in the house they grew up in before they let go of the past and move on with their lives. The real humour kicks in once the guests arrive and they find out that it requires a lot of tequila and amphetamines to get the middle-aged to party like it’s 1985.

There’s a twisted satisfaction in watching a beautiful North American mansion getting destroyed in a hurricane of drug-fuelled hijinks but this isn’t a post-puberty Project X; all the mayhem has important lessons to teach us about family and sisterhood and growing up.

At times, the good blonde sister/bad brunette sister schtick can feel a little contrived, but the gags are funny enough to pull you through. A prolonged scene involving a ballerina music box revolving inside someone’s rectum is particularly memorable.

Like Bridesmaids and Trainwreck before it, the Saturday Night Live comediennes are proving that chick flicks aren’t what they used to be: Fey and Poehler have been doing this for nearly 20 years and the way they play off each other is almost telepathic.

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