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SISTERS (15) ..... YOU can't [...].

SISTERS (15) ..... YOU can't choose your family but you can berate, undermine, sabotage and deceive them.

Only your loved ones - the people who have seen you at your most vulnerable and ill-tempered - can forgive those petty and occasionally vindictive transgressions that are part of growing up.

In Jason Moore's raucous and potty-mouthed comedy, chalk 'n' cheese siblings rediscover their childhoods and carelessly rub salt into old wounds.

Saturday Night Live alumni and best friends Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who have worked together for more than 20 years, share sparkling screen chemistry as the dysfunctional siblings who still feel comfortable sharing a bath or reading aloud scribblings in their high school diaries.

Unquestionably, they are the film's strongest asset, wringing chuckles from Paula Pell's hit and miss script.

Sisters may lack the snappy writing, smooth emotional transitions and sincerity of Trainwreck, the year's best comedy by several belly laughs, but it's nevertheless an entertaining portrait of modern womanhood.

Bucky Ellis (James Brolin) and wife Deana (Dianne Wiest) video call their daughter Maura (Poehler) to inform her that they intend to downsize the family home to a bijou retirement apartment.

The parents ask Maura to break the bad news to her drama queen sister, Kate (Fey).

Once the dust settles, the siblings make a cross-country odyssey to their childhood home to clear out their shared bedroom before they move out.

A wave of heady nostalgia washes over Maura and Kate and they decide to throw one final party, inviting all of their high school chums.

While Kate reignites a longstanding feud with local queen bee Brinda (Maya Rudolph) and rebuilds bridges with her artistically gifted daughter (Madison Davenport), Maura finally accepts there is romantic life after divorce and flirts awkwardly with a hunky local handyman (Ike Barinholtz).

Sisters rides a gentle wave of emotional peaks and troughs, including one hysterical sequence involving a music box.

For every guffaw, there are as many gags that miss their target, including a protracted scene of verbal to and fro between Maura and a nail technician (Greta Lee) that outstays its welcome.

Director Moore, who previously hit the high notes with Pitch Perfect, orchestrates a snappily choreographed dance sequence to perk up a frankly preposterous denouement.

End credit out-takes confirm that the best material made it onto the screen, which is both comforting and a little bit disappointing.

Tina Fey was Saturday Night Live's first female head writer


Amy Poehler and Tina Fey |share natural screen chemistry

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Dec 18, 2015
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