Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Amy Poehler   Tina Fey   Maya Rudolph   Ike Barinholtz   James Brolin   Dianne Wiest   
John Leguizamo   John Cena   Bobby Moynihan

          Sisters is a waste of good talent, the stars’ Poehler and Fey as well as a large supporting cast (Rudolph, Barinholtz, Brolin, Wiest, Leguizamo, Cena) are really fine actors who always hit the mark if they’re given good material.  Moynihan’s role was so lame I couldn’t appreciate his skill in acting.  It seems that Fey and Poehler are always much better when they write their own material.  The “comedy” in this film mainly has mainly to do with human weakness, failing, sniping at one another, hiding the truth, and drunkenness.  That is, we’re supposed to laugh, but I don’t find much of it very funny.  I regret especially when filmmakers send the message that unless there is overindulgence in alcohol and/or drugs a party is a dud.
The work of director Jason Moore and writer Paula Pell has mostly been in television, and the film plays much like a sitcom:  brief sketches chained together without much depth of meaning.  There were a few good points made.  In the beginning Maura (Poehler) sees a man sitting on the sidewalk and immediately assumes he is homeless and begins to “give” him items that will “help” him.  He ends up thinking she is nuts and walks to a pick-up that will take him back to work.  So, first impressions are not always accurate—especially purely visual ones—and people should be given a chance to accept or reject help being offered.  There is another point made about family members keeping important information under wraps for various reasons—none of which are very good.  And finally, rigid family roles of “giver” and “taker” put undue pressure on both parties.
The music of Christopher Beck and cinematography by Barry Peterson lend high notes to the production.  Beck includes soft, sentimental tunes when a scene calls for it, and loud party dance tunes when it is going strong.  Peterson is especially skilled in showing the gradual destruction of a house and the interactions among various people that give a sharp picture of the character.  The action can be slapstick at times, though, which detracts from what could have been a uplifting family drama.

A family drama that goes too far over the top and lasts too long.

Grade:  C-                                    By Donna R. Copeland

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