Tina and Amy (and Bobby Moynihan) make Sisters worth watching

tina fey amy poehler sisters

Adam McKay gave an interesting interview on the DGA’s podcast “The Director’s Cut” recently.  Part of a panel of 5 Oscar-nominated directors, he revealed that he doesn’t really know lenses or a lot of the technical details, but sees his role more as improv coach, shouting suggestions to his actors before or during each scene.  Director Jason Moore’s approach for Sisters appears to be similar.  Watching the film, it’s easy to picture the joke you’re seeing on screen being the 39th of 50 takes (the blooper reel basically confirms this).

That’s not to say take 39 isn’t funny, as Sisters is full of very funny people saying and doing funny things.  (Sadly, one of the bigger disappointment is John Cena, who was so great in Trainwreck, but whose name – Pazuzu – is the funniest thing his character says.)  As a longtime Tina and Amy fan – sorry, I can’t bring myself to use the more conventional “Fey and Poehler” – it’s great to see their shtick again, both together and individually, as well as see so many Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, and Parks and Recreation alums.

Bobby Moynihan steals the show as a desperate-to-please jokester.  While he gets three of the best physical gags in the film (a deranged Scarface impression, a “steamroller” attack on Cena, and a terrifying impression of a startled cat/possum), the highlight for me – someone whose frequency of jokes also far exceeds the laughs they generate – is his cathartic “thanks for finally laughing, fuckers” after one of his jokes finally lands.

And that’s kind of how Sisters feels – that everyone is working really hard to make you laugh.  When they do, it’s hilarious; when they don’t (Cena’s “I’m putting this on crazybitchpoolfights.com!”), it’s painful.  Combined with the stitched-together feel of the editing, the obligatory story of personal growth, and an overlong running time (118 minutes!), Sisters could’ve been a real drag.  Without Tina, Amy, and Moynihan, it would’ve been.

4 thoughts on “Tina and Amy (and Bobby Moynihan) make Sisters worth watching

  1. You’re kidding. Ugh! I pretty much hated this movie even though I was prepared to love it because I am a fan of both Tina and Amy. The script was just flat, uninspired, a bore–and I wanted to ask the filmmakers personally who they thought the target audience was.

    This is inappropriate for younger viewers.
    Mid- and late-teens won’t relate to the material. At all.
    People around my age don’t think that this is funny.
    So… maybe the target audience is older? Maybe IQ lower than 50?

    I hated it.


    1. “People around my age” – ouch.
      Just kidding. I think you do have a point in that a lot of Tina Fey’s movie work has been very safe, at least as compared to 30 Rock or even Mean Girls. It’s definitely Fey for suburban parents on date night.


      1. One outing that Tina and Amy were great in together was “Baby Mama.” For some reason, I saw that with a bunch of friends in college. It was a good time. Been meaning to see it again.


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