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Party like it's the 1990s with Sisters

Film & TV

If your benchmark for a great chick-flick comedy is Bridesmaids, you’ll love Sisters. Not only does the film meet the Bridesmaids benchmark, it could controversially be suggested that it surpasses it.

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Written by Paula Pell (TV’s Saturday Night Live) and directed by Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect), the movie stars Amy Poehler and Tina Fey and has a simple plot.

Kate Ellis (Fey) is an ageing party girl whose destructive ways have left her unemployed, living on a friend’s couch and disowned by her teenage daughter. Maura (Poehler) is the opposite of her irresponsible sister: a nurse who lives a life of tedium and whose desire to help others is so obtuse that it’s invasive.

When the two sisters discover their parents are selling their childhood home, they decide to throw one last “Ellis Island Party” reminiscent of their high school years to farewell the house.

Of course, as with all stories and especially comedies, things don’t go to plan. Without giving away too much, let’s just say that destructive teens have nothing on destructive adults reliving their teen years. There are so, so many ways to creatively destroy a house.

Sisters contains some absolute pearlers. The preserved childhood bedroom the sisters shared is an ’80s museum complete with Michael J Fox posters and Care Bear T-shirts. A remembered dance routine performed to Snow’s hit “Informer” will make anyone who partied in the early ’90s cringe in recognition, and ongoing feuds from past high school relationships are hilarious; perhaps you never really do leave school.

The script is beyond clever and the one-liners, complete with inventive new ways of swearing, just keep coming. There are also a few edgier twists along the way which provide Sisters with some depth that would otherwise be lacking.

However, the real genius in this movie is the relationship between the two polar-opposite Ellis girls — it shows with eloquence that special closeness that survives a lifetime.

In a way, it’s a shame Sisters is opening so soon after the most anticipated movie of the year (decade?), JJ Abrams’ Star Wars. But it is likely this film will attract the overflow of viewers who aren’t light-sabre devotees and that, really, is its target audience – women north of 35 who love an intelligent, witty comedy starring awesome leading ladies.

So, if you’re a child of the ’80s, remember partying in the ’90s and can even vaguely recall life before you became the responsible adult you are today, you must see Sisters. But be warned, as with swimming, don’t eat for at least an hour before watching the film, as strenuous and consistent laughter may cause a stitch.

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