Movie review: Fey and Poehler reunite in wild and funny "Sisters"

Brad Keefe, Columbus Alive

I not-so-secretly love smart low-brow comedy - it's a tough combo to pull off, but it's kind of like an Adam Sandler movie meets the opposite of an Adam Sandler movie.

"Sisters" - the second big-screen pairing of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler following the mostly forgettable "Baby Mama" - is a crude crowd-pleaser that showcases the Fey-Poehler chemistry well.

When grown sisters Maura and Kate Ellis (Poehler and Fey, duh) learn their parents (James Brolin and Dianne Wiest) are selling their family home, they must return to Orlando to gather their childhood possessions.

As Maura and Kate sift through old stuff and old memories, they decide to funnel their sadness over the loss of their old home into a rehashing of the epic house parties they used to be known for.

What starts off as a sleepy gathering of old high school friends soon turns into a middle-ager rager for the books.

Fey and Poehler are joined by a ton of great alumni from their era at "Saturday Night Live" (Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, Chris Parnell) and beyond (scene-stealers Bobby Moynihan and Kate McKinnon).

The script for "Sisters" was also written by Paula Pell, the "SNL" writer responsible for too many great recurring sketches to count. If "Sisters" was a proper "SNL" movie, it would be among the best.

This is not to say there's not some clunkiness in the setup, though it's minimized through the sheer charm of Fey and Poehler. But when that party gets going, so does the movie. The physical humor and the story of grownups who don't quite know how to grow up - it's refreshing to see a female take on the man-baby comedies that dominate - pair nicely. There's enough silly laughter to be had over two hours, which, frankly, is about 20 minutes too many, not that you'll mind that much.

Oh, and we've also got pro wrestler John Cena turning in his second hysterical bit part in a woman-lead comedy, joining his turn in "Trainwreck."

"Sisters" is maybe not as profound as it tries to be in its gentler moments, but fans of Fey and Poehler won't mind a bit. (It's also a great option if you're looking to avoid "Star Wars.")


Opens Friday

3 stars