Photo via http://teaser-trailer.com/movie/sisters/
I think I’ve calmed down enough from my “The Force Awakens” high to tell you about the other movie I saw this past weekend. I made a promise to myself and queens Tina and Amy that I would see their movie the weekend it arrived in theaters, which, unfortunately for them, happened to be the same as “Star Wars.”
Far off galaxies and adorable droids aside, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s triumphant comedy “Sisters” did not disappoint. In fact, it was much better than I had anticipated it to be.
You know the drill. A comedy is released that you’ve been wanting to see for months, you go to the theater and buy your $10.50 ticket, and spend 90 minutes watching complete garbage. For every good comedy a year there’s like 12 bad ones.
But the caliber of funny in “Sisters” should automatically be expected by now from Tina and Amy. There’s dirty rated R funny, and then there’s Tina and Amy’s version of it. “Sisters” is written by Paula Pell, one of the all-time great SNL writers. Based on Pell’s own growing up and sister, the movie tells the tale of two sisters; the wild one (Tina) and the well-behaved one (Amy), and how the duo recreated one last classic high school house party before their parents sell their childhood home.
Generic maybe, but with three funny ladies behind the contents, it’s anything but. Tina and Amy’s brand of comedy works for them because they stand for women, they’re smart and say it like it is, and they promote female friendships. “Sisters,” like the comedy due it stars, is hard to dislike.
And interestingly enough, this movie is unlike anything you’ve seen Tina and Amy do before. Their characters get to swear and tell off-the-wall sex jokes because they’re no longer confined to the strains of network television. You’ve never seen them play bad or at least trying to blow off some steam before. And it’s refreshing. Not that their bit as being hilarious and making jokes about the world around them was getting old, but the ladies know when to shake things up.
I have no way of counting, of course, but “Sisters” seems to have a joke every minute, sometimes every line. They come so fast and furiously that you have to turn around and think while you watch. But good comedy films are the ones that make the audience work for it and the joke machine that is Tina/Amy (and in many respects Pell) never disappoints.
And they don’t do it on their own either! The film is layered with famous comedy faces for added joke bonuses. Maya Rudolph plays Tina’s high school foe; Bobby Moynihan is the dude still trying to get a laugh; Ike Barinholtz of “The Mindy Project” plays a surprisingly hot love interest for Amy; Rachel Dratch is just being Rachel Dratch.
Although Amy does a sweet, oddly enough believable divorced good girl character, it’s Tina who really shines as the messy sister. Her character has a kid that hates her, no house, and no money and all she wants to do is rage at an immature house party full of people she hasn’t talked to in 20 years. She’s foul-mouthed and badass and nowhere near Liz Lemon. And knowing Tina, she probably has no idea how well she pulls it off.
The best part of “Sisters” isn’t the jokes or an epic John Cena appearance. It’s not the house party antics or even the beloved stars. What really hits home is the idea that 1) your sister will always be there for you no matter what crappy turns your life may take and 2) sometimes you need to let go of the past. Change can be good. Like the selling and moving on from their childhood home, the sisters learn that they are both on different paths and that no one can avoid changes forever.
And when you’re Tina and Amy, you can prove that changing it up works in the funniest ways.