Sisters (2015 film)
Sisters is a 2015 American comedy film directed by Jason Moore and written by Paula Pell. The second collaboration between Tina Fey and Amy Poehler following the 2008 film Baby Mama, it received mixed reviews, though most critics praised the chemistry of the lead actresses. The film was released on December 18, 2015 by Universal Pictures and grossed $105 million on a production budget of $33 million. The film centres on adult sisters Kate and Maura Ellis. Kate is a irresponsible single mum while Maura is a kindhearted nurse and recent divorcee. The girls are summoned back to their childhood home by their parents to clean out their bedroom before the house gets sold. Upset and angry that all their childhood memories are going to be gone, Kate convinces Maura to have one last wild party at the house. But things soon get out of control...
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jason Moore|
|Written by||Paula Pell|
|Music by||Christophe Beck|
|Edited by||Lee Haxall|
|Distributed by||Universal Studios|
|Box office||$105 million|
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Maura Ellis (Amy Poehler) is told by her parents (Dianne Wiest and James Brolin) that they are planning to sell their home in Orlando, and asked to come and clean out the things from her childhood bedroom. Her parents also ask that she tell her sister, Kate (Tina Fey), because she does not take bad news well.
Maura, a recently divorced nurse, is constantly trying to help people, and Kate is an unorganized and irresponsible stylist, who is living in her friend's house, while her teenage daughter, Haley (Madison Davenport), lives elsewhere and refuses to tell Kate where she is staying. Maura calls to tell her the news, but stops short of telling Kate that their childhood home is being sold, and instead convinces her to come to Orlando for a while, as Kate has just been kicked out of her apartment. Kate and Maura meet at the airport, and on the drive home, they hit on a man, James (Ike Barinholtz), doing yard work outside of his home.
Upon reaching their childhood home, they discover the house has already sold, and their parents have already packed up and sold all of the family's belongings, except for the things in the sisters' room. Furious, Maura and Kate find their parents and confront them. The sisters are told that the deal is done and that they need to be out of the house by the end of the weekend with everything completely moved out. As they are going to sleep, Kate convinces Maura to have one last party in their childhood home.
The next morning, the sisters are awakened by the new homeowners coming to see the house in order to begin to plan all of the things they want to change when to move in, and tell them that the home needs to be in perfect condition in order for the sale to go through, causing great distress to Maura and Kate. Moving forward with their plans to host a party, Kate and Maura go through and invite most of their friends from high school, excluding Brinda (Maya Rudolph) whom Kate hates.
The sisters go shopping in order to prepare for the night. While shopping for decorations, they have a run-in with Brinda, who is upset about not being invited. The sisters then go to a nail salon, where Maura invites her nail stylist to the party, and tries to convince Kate to apply for a job there. Kate speaks to the owner and he refuses. Kate convinces him to pretend to give her a job so that Maura will think that she is taking responsibility. While shopping for dresses, Haley calls Kate to check in with her. Kate hands the phone to Maura, whose conversation with Haley reveals that Maura has been housing Haley for the past several months, unbeknownst to Kate. Maura convinces Haley that Kate has changed for the better, and Haley buys a plane ticket to Orlando to surprise Kate. The sisters finish up their shopping, and stop by James' house where Kate forces Maura to ask him to come to their party, and he agrees. While preparing for their guests to arrive, Maura asks Kate to remain sober for the party, so that she will be able to enjoy the party. Kate reluctantly agrees.
As the party begins, the sisters realize that all of their high school classmates have matured and do not want a wild party. To prevent the guests from leaving, they give a speech to their guests and ask Dave (John Leguizamo) to invite his drug dealer Pazuzu (John Cena) over so they can buy marijuana. More of their friends show up, including their nail stylists, who are able to turn the party around into the epic celebration they were hoping for. Brinda arrives uninvited, where she is promptly kicked out by Kate. James also arrives, and he and Maura try to start a conversation together, but keep getting interrupted by the party guests.
As revenge, Brinda calls in a noise complaint to the police, though Kate and Maura are able to flirt and talk their way out of trouble. As the night progresses, the guests become more and more out of control. After failing to stop the party, Brinda takes revenge by adding blue paint to the water system for the pool and sprinklers. Haley calls her mom to surprise her about being in town, when she learns that her mom is at a party. Haley lashes out at her mother for continuing to be irresponsible, refusing to believe that Kate is sober. Kate decides to drink since Haley already suspects she is drinking.
With Kate no longer watching over, the party continues to become increasingly destructive. Brinda again sneaks in, but this time, she and Kate are able to resolve their conflicts and she is allowed to stay. Meanwhile, Maura has snuck off with James, hoping to having sex with him, but things keep going awry, with Maura falling through the ceiling, and later, James landing on her childhood ballerina music box. James leaves the party with the music box up his rectum. Kate learns from her parents that they were planning to give her a portion of the money they receive from selling the house, so that she can get set up in her new life. Kate realizes that the house will no longer sell because of the destruction and tries to end the party early. She calls the police to complain about the noise, but the responding officer realizes that Maura had helped his cousin in high school, and declines to shut it down.
After failing to have sex with James, Maura leaves her room and is horrified to see the mess that the party made. Maura learns that Kate has gotten drunk, despite promising to not have alcohol, and becomes furious with her. At the same time, Kate learns that Maura has been housing Haley, and is incensed. The sisters find each other and begin to fight. Haley and her grandparents show up at the party and are horrified by what they see. Kate has failed to park the car, therefore causing the car to roll into the tree seat destroying it, and knocking over the tree, destroying part of the house. The backyard pool becomes a sinkhole, and Haley falls in. Kate comes to her rescue and helps her get out when Haley refuses to climb a ladder. Once the parents kick the guests out, they tell Kate and Maura that they are tired of taking care of both of them, and that they need to get their lives together.
The next morning, the sisters are awakened by their parents so that they can begin the process of cleaning up after the party. Maura offers to help pay for the house, so that her parents will not have an issue with selling, but they refuse, as they believe that Maura needs to stop helping since she is often unhelpful. Kate tells her parents that she does not have a home, and would like to live in the house. They refuse this as well, saying that she can stay for the next two weeks while she repairs the house. Kate enlists the help of James to help repair the damage. Maura and Kate apologize to each other, and Kate convinces Maura to try and connect with James. Kate fixes up the house, and they are able to sell it with the help of Brinda. Kate opens a new nail salon in Orlando, and Maura and James have moved forward and are now in a relationship.
The movie closes with Kate and Maura celebrating their first Christmas at their parents' new home with all of the family happy together.
- Tina Fey as Katherine Anne "Kate" Ellis, a wild, irresponsible adult woman who is the single mother to her teenage daughter, Haley, and the older sister to Maura. Kate is also the first-born child of Deana and Bucky Ellis.
- Amy Poehler as Maura Ellis, a gentle, sweet nurse and the younger sister to Kate Ellis. Maura is also aunt to Kate's daughter, Haley, and the second-born daughter of Deana and Bucky Ellis. By the end of the movie, she is the girlfriend of James.
- Maya Rudolph as Brinda, a jealous, snooty woman and the arch-rival to Kate. Brinda, Kate and Maura all went to high school together and were close friends until Brinda snitched on the Ellis sisters about their house party and got it shut down because she was jealous they didn't invite her. She and Kate have a strong dislike towards each other but by the end of the movie, they seems to have patched things up and even manage a (very awkward) hug.
- Ike Barinholtz as James, the handsome, kind man who lives next door to the Ellis sisters and Maura's love interest, later boyfriend.
- Dianne Wiest as Deana Ellis, Kate and Maura's mother and Haley's grandmother.
- James Brolin as Bucky Ellis, Kate and Maura's father and Haley's grandfather.
- John Leguizamo as Dave
- John Cena as Pazuzu
- Bobby Moynihan as Alex
- Greta Lee as Hae Won
- Madison Davenport as Haley Ellis, Kate's teenage daughter (14-15), niece to Maura and granddaughter to Bucky and Deana Ellis. Haley is tired of having to parent her mother because Kate can't find a job or suitable house so Haley decides to go live somewhere else until Kate can get a house for them both. She refuses to tell Kate where she is but promises that she will be fine and that she is "staying at a friend's house." Later on, it is revealed that Maura is actually housing Haley and has promised Haley she wouldn't say anything to Kate.
- Rachel Dratch as Kelly
- Santino Fontana as Mr. Geernt
- Britt Lower as Mrs. Geernt
- Samantha Bee as Liz
- Matt Oberg as Rob
- Kate McKinnon as Sam
- Jon Glaser as Dan
- Renée Elise Goldsberry as Kim
- Chris Parnell as Phil
- Paula Pell as Dana
- Dan Byrd as Patrick Campbell
- Adrian Martinez as Officer Harris
- Brian d'Arcy James as Jerry
- Heather Matarazzo as Denny
- Ann Harada as Jean
The film was initially titled The Nest. On December 3, 2014, Universal Pictures announced it has been retitled to Sisters.
On June 5, 2014, Ike Barinholtz joined the cast of the film to play the male lead. On June 11, James Brolin was added to the film to play Fey and Poehler's characters' father. On June 12, Greta Lee was added to the cast to play Hae Won, a young mother who by chance gets a pity invite to the party. On June 13, Maya Rudolph joined the film to play the childhood friend of both sisters. On June 17, Madison Davenport joined the film to play Katie's daughter Hayley. On July 1, wrestler John Cena was added to the cast of the film, with Deadline reporting that he would play a villainous role. On July 16, Renée Elise Goldsberry was added to the cast to play Kim, a longtime friend of Poehler and Fey's characters.
Principal photography commenced on June 9, 2014 in White Plains, New York when director Moore tweeted some photos from the set. It was filmed in New York City through the end of July. On June 18, the crew was shooting some scenes in Haverstraw, New York. Fey and Poehler were spotted filming in Pearl River, New York. On June 24, filming was underway around Five Towns College in Dix Hills, New York. Filming also occurred at the Jon Megaris hair salon in nearby Huntington, New York on January 22, 2015.
Sisters was released in the United States on December 18, 2015. The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 15, 2016.
Sisters grossed $87 million in North America and $18 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $105 million, against a budget of $30 million.
In North America, Sisters opened on December 18, 2015 with box office projections expected to be hurt by Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In its opening weekend, the film was projected to gross $11 million from 2,961 theaters. The film grossed $5 million on its first day and $13.9 million in its opening weekend, finishing third at the box office behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($248 million) and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip ($14.3 million).
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film had a rating of 61%, based on 173 reviews, with an average rating of 5.94/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Sisters' sharp blend of pathos and vulgarity, along with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's effervescent chemistry, are more than enough to make up for the handful of laughs this coming-of-age comedy leaves on the table." On Metacritic, the film had a score of 58 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.
Guy Lodge of Variety gave the film a positive review, writing: "Beneath the film's entertainingly crude hijinks, there are actual human stakes here, as the two sisters recognize in each other the growing up they themselves need to do — though Pell’s script keeps the hugging and learning to a reasonable minimum." Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post also reacted positively, saying, "It takes superior artistry to take the rude, crude and socially unmentionable and make it feel upliftingly wholesome. Such is the magic of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the dynamic duo at the playful, prurient, occasionally perverse heart of Sisters." Many critics have positively compared the film to other recent successful female-centric comedies, such as Bridesmaids, Spy and Trainwreck.
Mark Olsen of Los Angeles Times had a more mixed reaction, saying, "There is so much about its package – the stars, the premise, the talented supporting cast – that would make for a film of warmth, humor and insight on the struggles of leaving the past behind and getting out of your own way on the path to fulfilment. Instead, the movie settles for being a party comedy and little else." Richard Roeper of Chicago Sun-Times gave the film one and a half stars out of four, but praised Fey and Poehler's performances, saying "though they look nothing like sisters, they’re believable as sisters. Every once in a while when we take a break from the thuddingly unfunny slapstick stuff, there’s a nice and genuine moment."
|2016||Critics' Choice Movie Awards||Best Comedy||Sisters||Nominated|
|Best Actress in a Comedy||Tina Fey||Nominated|
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