Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are beloved around these parts, and for good reason: 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation belong to maybe the last great wave of network sitcoms, the two are maybe the best hosting duo in awards show history, and they were a goddamn delight as “Weekend Update” anchors on Saturday Night Live. Add to that Tina Fey’s Mean Girls and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and the Amy Poehler produced Broad City, and what you’ve got are basically the two best female comedians of their generation.
But when they try to do other people’s material, it doesn’t always work out. To wit: Their first movie together, Baby Mama was likable, because they were in it, but too broad to really land. Their other movies, — Spring Breakdown (oof), They Came Together, A.C.O.D., and Date Night — were likewise mostly forgettable broad comedies (though, I am one of the few who really liked Tina Fey’s This Is Where I Leave You).
The biggest problem with their other movies is that they were not their own creations. They are playing characters, and we like to see Poehler and Fey play versions of themselves — or at least, the versions of themselves we believe them to be. Sisters, which comes out the week before Christmas, looks like it fits into that Baby Mama category of overly broad comedy that sees Fey and Poehler play characters who are not like themselves, which is to say: They’re not smart, and funny in very specific ways. They’re the very opposite of what they were on their television shows: Sitcom caricatures.
It won’t stop us from watching, though. It looks fun, even if we won’t remember it beyond December.