Maura Ellis (Amy Poehler) is a recently divorced nurse, living in Atlanta. Her sister Kate (Tina Fey) is a hairstylist, between jobs, living at a friend’s house. Kate’s daughter, Haley (Madison Davenport) comes to visit Kate, and is so upset by Kate’s irresponsibility, that she leaves almost immediately. Maura finds out that their parents are selling their childhood home and invites Kate to stay for a few days. Both Maura and Kate dislike the yuppie prospective buyers of the house, Mr. Geernt (Santinto Fontana) and Mrs. Geernt (Britt Lower) so they decide to throw one last party at their childhood home before their parents sell it. Both Maura and Kate invite all their friends, including a neighbor named James (Ike Barinholtz) who Maura has been flirting with. But Kate doesn’t invite rival Brinda (Maya Rudolph) and Brinda finds out about the party. Kate agrees to stay sober while Maura tries to see if James is interested in her. The party starts out quite boring, until Dave (John Leguizamo) brings his friend Pazuzu over. Pazuzu has more pharmaceuticals on him than the local drug store. Does the party liven up? Does Brinda try to crash the party? Do James and Maura hit it off? Where is Haley?
This is your typical one last big blowout party movie, except that instead of starring men, trying to have one more wild party before having to face adulthood, this movie stars two women in the lead role. The role reversal is quite enjoyable, and a lot of the ad-libbed jokes work. But there are numerous problems with the script, the movie is too long, the jokes stop, and the mood shifts to a more serious tone that doesn’t work at all, the romance between Maura and James was underdeveloped, and the movie ended much too neatly for a wild and woolly party movie.
Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are very funny, and their ability to ad-lib makes the script funnier than it was written. They are helped along by SNL alums Maya Rudolph, Bobby Moynihan, and Rachel Dratch, who all bring plenty of laughs. The movie is stolen by John Cena, who is incredibly funny as Pazuzu, the walking drug store who has an ironic occupation. Just like Trainwreck, his dry understated approach is very funny. On the negative side, John Leguizamo is not funny, and James Brolin is a terrible actor.
The director Jason Moore, directed Pitch Perfect, which was pretty good, but this movie went on way too long for a comedy, and the pacing was much too slow in the second half of the film. The debauchery looked much too much like the Animal House variety party scenes, and there was nothing that was eye-catching about the scenes, except for maybe a scene near the end of the film.
Sisters: Poehler and Fey assisted by a funny cast .