DVD Review
The Banger Sisters
The Banger Sisters poster
By Lee Tistaert     Published April 19, 2003
US Release: September 20, 2002

Directed by: Bob Dolman
Starring: Susan Sarandon , Goldie Hawn , Geoffrey Rush , Erika Christensen

Running Time: 97 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $30,306,000
May not be completely satisfactory, but it?s got its moments
In many ways The Banger Sisters was exactly what I expected; it?s light, relatively charming, but when coming down do it the film doesn?t accomplish any solid boundaries to have it be anything special.

Many could brand the comedy as a reasonable production, as it does entertain to some extent. But when the flick was forcing me to debate whether it would be worthy of a B- rating due to not having wimped out in various elements, the story went clich? and formulaic on me. The Banger Sisters is to females what Old School is to guys; it presents its characters as people who wish they could go back in time and re-experience the wild adventures that are only a memory.
The challenge with critiquing the flick is that it does handle some components nicely and realistically, but at the same time it doesn?t investigate as thoroughly into some of its topics as it should for an effective impact. The script also gives in to the predictable factors one would expect from such a cutesy picture, which hurts the feature from earning a more recommending status. I sort of wanted to rank Banger Sisters as a reasonable ride at times, but there was always something hitting me back when attempting to claim the film as a moderately successful tale.

Banger Sisters is the story of two older women, Suzette (Goldie Hawn) and Lavinia (Susan Sarandon), as they reunite as friends after more than fifteen years of separation. The two used to be groupies and hung around all the legendary bands in the olden days, but those classic moments have faded from their lifestyle growing up into adults. Now in their fifties, Suzette and Lavinia attempt to re-explore those days to get in touch with their younger self, with their family in utter awe.

Though the comedy does aim to be more of a cute fun film than anything else, it lacks a strong sense of humor to feel truly special or unique. The film relies on the charm spread on by Goldie Hawn to fulfill entertainment (who probably steals the show), but while her performance is indeed rolling at moments the role is missing the urgency to laugh-out-loud from the viewer?s standpoint. I found myself subtly engaged into the story, with a chuckle or two that resulted in the long run, but nothing too fancy.

The script is treated relatively skillfully, as rather than giving in to the typical PG-13 ball of wax these features generally fall into, Banger Sisters permits Hawn?s character to speak the way we would expect someone like her to function. Her occasional foul behavior assists with enjoyment and believability, but when all is said and done it feels as if going even further (in material) and not retreating to the expected in terms of plot would?ve been the slicker move. It?s a predictable film with clich?s down every block, but the screenplay somewhat surprisingly allows substance to sneak by that we probably wouldn?t normally anticipate.

The chemistry between Hawn and Sarandon is in gear when that plot factor slides on in, but once again the execution isn?t as brave or insightful as it could be. Instead of looking into some of its issues with a bit of maturity, or even humor that pressed more buttons, Banger Sisters? script travels a light route where it could?ve gone deeper but decided to play it easy. The film fails to bring on the hilarity level of Old School or the wild comedic performances its trio of actors served up. And while that Todd Phillips comedy didn?t embark on its subject matter thoroughly, it was fun enough and the script let the actors have a blast, along with shock humor bits that aided in the experience.

The Banger Sisters could be considered a pretty decent rental, as it doesn?t require your complete attention every step of the way but by the end of the road it doesn?t feel too bad. A movie like this could?ve been really cheesy and lacking ingredients necessary to come off appealing (and more of a television pilot). But thankfully the screenwriter (Bob Dolman) didn?t wuss out and delivered an experience that may not be completely satisfactory, but it?s got its moments of intrigue and charming effects.

If the third act didn?t fly away into predictability and the standard female-cute-picture treatment, Banger Sisters could?ve held solid potential for a surprisingly enjoyable (and insightful) time. It is enjoyable to a degree, but doesn?t fulfill significant humor gaps if in need. An almost reasonable comedy, it misses the mark by a slight margin.

DVD Features:
- Commentary by director Rob Dolman
- HBO Special
- Blooper Reel
- Trailer
Lee's Grade: C+
Lee's Overall Grading: 2976 graded movies
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