Sisters (2015) Blu-ray Review: Forty-Six Candles

Sisters might sound like a sibling relationship comedy, but it actually joins Hollywood’s long, proud heritage of ribald comedy films focusing on huge parties. You know the ones, brainless romps like Bachelor Party, American Pie, Old School, Neighbors, and Sixteen Candles. Just like its predecessors, this outing has little on the agenda except for showing you all the fun at their rager, with the only real differences being the female perspective and the age of the participants. Sure, there’s the requisite friction between the lead characters, but if you remember anything about this film later, it will be the huge, ridiculously out-of-control party.

Playing against the types established by their previous pairing in Baby Mama, Tina Fey is the irresponsible, wild sister Kate, while Amy Poehler is meek, conformist sister Maura. When their parents decide to sell their childhood home, the sisters are brought together for one final weekend of getting the house ready for sale. They’ve both reached the point in their lives where they feel extremely unaccomplished and unfulfilled, so entering the environs of their childhood hopes and dreams awakens in them a burning desire to party. And party hard. So hard that the house might not survive. Luckily, many of their old friends still live in the area and share their ennui, so armed with legal and illegal substances they proceed to throw a massive and jam-packed blowout.

That’s really the principal gist of the film, and it’s really all that is needed, because the crazy characters that come out of their shells during the party make for some hilarious hijinks. Tina and Amy get key assists from partygoers that include Bobby Moynihan, Maya Rudolph, and John Cena (proving his standout Trainwreck turn was no fluke). The party destruction of the home escalates in lockstep with the laughs, building to an earth-shattering finale that cements the party’s epic status. Fey proves adept at her rebel role, although Poehler seems a bit underutilized as her subdued character. Most importantly, the film fully delivers the comedy goods to the point that I was in tears from laughing so hard.

Blu-ray viewers are provided with the option of selecting either the theatrical or unrated version of the film, with the unrated cut clocking in at about five minutes longer. Having only watched the unrated, I didn’t notice anything particularly objectionable, so it’s most likely just expanded party footage. It’s worth noting though that both cuts run around two hours long, normally a no-no for a comedy but completely welcome here.

The Blu-ray also has a huge serving of bonus features, mostly related to deleted scenes, outtakes, and ad libs but also featuring some technical background on the outdoor set they built indoors. The bonus footage is very well done, especially the numerous alternate takes of ad-libbed scenes that have even more hilarious material than the ones included in the film.

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Steve Geise

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