When we first heard our favorite leading ladies of comedy, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, were teaming up once again to take on the big screen, our hearts did that weird thing where they kind of drop into our stomachs.
Fey and Poehler as co-stars, in a screenplay written by their longtime friend and former Saturday Night Live powerhouse Paula Pell, seemed like a winning combination. Like peanut butter and chocolate, salt and tequila, freshly shaved legs and new sheets.
But now that Sisters has been in cinemas for a few weeks and we’ve had time to watch and reflect, it’s time to face the awful truth.
It’s just not that good. Watch: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler promote their new film, Sisters. (Post continues after video.)
We’ve come to expect a lot from Foehler (Pey? Do they have an official celeb nickname? They should) over the years. Fey starred in and wrote the wickedly clever 30 Rock, while Poehelr’s comedic timing and nuance on Parks and Rec was equal parts complex and sweet. Their turns hosting the Golden Globes were packed with well timed zingers of biting satire and wit.It was a pretty good time to be alive.
So it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why their latest comedy offering didn’t deliver, unless you take into account the rising price of stamps.
Mostly, I think it’s because this is a generic gross-out comedy masquerading as a groundbreaking feminist romp.
The film centers around a recently divorced woman (Poehler) and her irresponsible sister (Fey), who return to their childhood home to pack up their old bedrooms and then throw a huge party for old times sake, which quickly spirals out of control.
And….that’s kind of it.
I think we were supposed to laugh at Poehler and Fey’s chaotic attempts to recapture their youth, but in both instances their characterisations fall flat.
There’s a scene where the sisters visit a store and try on outfits for their big night, preening in front of the mirror in fitted skirts and back-to-front mini-dresses. Which would have been funny if A) Their audience hadn’t been so conditioned to see them as more than traditional movie beauties and B) They actually looked bad – which they didn’t. They rocked those frocks pretty well.
The other main gag of the film is the leading ladies’s ages. They’re in their forties and they’re throwing back drinks, hooking up with men and generally having a pretty rambunctious time. Which, again, might have been funny if it weren’t for the fact that Fey and Poehler don’t make it look ridiculous-leading-to-funny, they actually make it look pretty awesome.
Poehler and Fey aren’t the geeky outsiders needed to make these antics resonate with the audience. Thanks to their work, their writing and their bitingly funny talk show appearances they are now the women we want to be, the women we want to laugh with, not at.
They’ve made being in your forties and still indulging in drinks and less-than-desirable behaviour with your friends look normal, rather than outrageous. Especially when you hear what they got up to while shooting.
The cast has spilled the beans on their time filming on Long Island, shacking up in hotels, surprise visits from the cast of Saturday Night Live, acting like a makeshift mafia family and dancing with their skirts above their heads in restaurant back rooms after a few too many glasses of wine.
They’ve showed us that’s how people over 40 act and, to be honest, it’s made me feel like the real comedic moments of this whole little caper happened behind the cameras, not in front of them.
Talk about FOMO.
Tina. Amy. I hate to say this, but it has to be done.
You’re better than this. You’ve made us all see that you’re better than this. You’ve made us expect more from comedy and the people who create it, and now we expect you to deliver.
It’s not us, it’s definitely you.
But this isn’t the end of our relationship. I’m not even suggesting we go on a break.
We still want to watch you on our screens and read your words. Hell, I want you to stand over me while I sleep and be the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning. Such is the strength of your appeal.
I just don’t want you to star in anymore lackluster comedies that dilute your talents and harken back to the gross out comedies of the 90’s.
And so, like an embarrassing first date story, lets all push this to the back of our minds and just pretend it didn’t happen.