Written by Megan LaBruna
When the Ellis sisters learn their childhood home is up for sale, they decide to come together to throw one last “Ellis Island” party to remember. What starts out as a fun way to escape the problems of their current lives soon turns into a problem all its own.
We all remember what it’s like to be a teenager and throw a party, either with or without your parents’ consent; sometimes things can get a little wild. This was always the case with the Ellis sisters. Their parties were known for being awesome and a bit out of control. Fortunately, Maura (Amy Poehler) would always take on the role of house mom and keep everyone in line, holding hair back for sick people while simultaneously making sure no one burned down the house.
Over the years, nothing has changed, after her recent divorce Maura finds out her parents are selling the home she grew up in. Longing to go back to a simpler time, she reaches out to her sister to spend one last weekend at the house before the new owners take it over.
Kate (Tina Fey), the instigator, hasn’t done much growing up despite now having a child of her own. Her relationship with her teenage daughter is in shambles, she is jobless and homeless, so a call from her sister inviting her back to Florida is a welcomed distraction.
Kate concocts a plan to move in with her parents so that her daughter will come back to her. Currently, her daughter has been living at a mysterious friend’s house for the summer. Unfortunately she doesn’t have the full story and slowly realizes her plan won’t work as they pull up to their old house and see the sold sign smugly staring back at them from the lawn.
They spend the last few days going through their old bedroom and reading diaries from their childhood. However, delving into one’s past can sometimes lead down a slippery slope. In this case, said slope is one last crazy party to celebrate their former youth…and stick it to the snobby new owners. The girls invite all their notoriously fun high school friends with the exception of Brinda (Maya Rudolph). Unfortunately time (and children) has killed their party stamina, so the Ellis sisters decide to add some good old fashion drugs into the mix resulting in a pretty great cameo by John Cena. Meanwhile, Brinda makes it her mission to ruin the party from her external vantage point, however if she knew the chaos that would erupt once middle aged parents let loose, she wouldn’t have had to try all that hard. Seriously, sh*t goes down (trees, pools, Bobby Moynihan) and emotions run high.
I enjoyed the role reversal these characters required. Typically we see Tina Fey in more of a maternal or neurotic comedic role (Baby Mama for instance) and this time she’s a hot mess. With Amy’s character I could see hints of Leslie Knope, such as the constant need to “lovingly” interject herself into others’ lives because she believes people need her help. However, we were still lucky enough to see her freak flag fly a little bit during the bedroom scene with her love interest James (Ike Barinholtz). After watching Ike on the Mindy Project, I wouldn’t necessarily consider him leading man material, but to each their own. Although I did find it thoroughly hysterical when the teenagers in the audience boo’d at the point where (Spoiler Alert) he took his shirt off, as if it’s some tragedy to show an average man without a six pack on the big screen.
As in most movies featuring SNL alumni, the supporting cast is made up of a few old and new generation SNL members. In its essence, Sisters is a coming of age movie, except that the coming of age is more based on regaining their youth for one night and accepting that even in adulthood, sometimes people don’t have it all together. It’s also about the comedy of course, which I was pleasantly surprised on how much of the plot was left out of the previews for viewers to enjoy on the big screen for the first time.
While the dialogue wasn’t as clever as I’ve seen these women perform in the past, the physical aspect of it all and the general situational comedy made up for it.And of course, it wouldn’t be a true movie about sisters if there wasn’t at least one girl fight. If you have a sister, I definitely recommend watching it with her, you might learn to appreciate each other, or at least have a good laugh together. Warning: side effects of this movie may include leaving the theater wanting to throw your own epic party.
Check out Tina Fey and Amy Poehler starring in Sisters in theaters now.