The Banger Sisters Review
Don’t expect anything original from this film; it deals firmly with clichés throughout. Lavinia (Susan Sarandon) and Suzette (Goldie Hawn) play ex-groupies who lost touch until the day Suzette gets fired from her job as a bar tender and only has her long lost friend to fall back on to help her. She sets of to Phoenix to find her, and along the way, meets failed screenwriter, Harry Plumber, (Geoffrey Rush) who is also on his way to Phoenix.
Suzette is that well-known Hollywood archetype, the hooker with the heart of gold. A force of nature that can’t stop itself from causing chaos and shaking up the lives of everyone they meet. Lavinia the polar opposite, a staid housewife, who has sacrificed her personality for the sake of her family, and is now a mere sad shadow of her former self. You can guess quite easily what happens when they finally meet. That’s right, there are ‘hilarious consequences’ galore, some self-discovery, a little bit of sadness and a horrible, sickly sweet ending that will leave you retching.
That’s not to say that it’s all bad news. There are some redeeming features that make this film, perhaps, worth watching. The performances are superb; Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon give fine performances, very believable as long-lost friends and there is a satisfying chemistry between them. The supporting cast also do well, especially Geoffrey Rush whose portrayal of anal-retentive Plumber is amusing and quite touching. A special mention, also, to Eva Amurri who gives an excellent performance as Sarandon’s spoilt brat daughter. It’s perhaps worth pointing out that she is Sarandon’s actual daughter, so maybe she is like that in real life, who knows?
The real shame of this film is that with such a talented cast it completely fails to do more with it. Actors of this calibre should be a joy to watch, every scene should be stuffed to the gill with belly laughs. It’s not really the script that’s the problem, its sharp, witty and gloriously foul-mouthed. The problem is more deep-rooted than that, and lies in the very structure of the film itself. A promising first half rapidly descends into a wild ride of self-discovery for the characters that happens just too quickly to be believable. It’s as though the film is in a hurry to race to it’s conclusion too quickly, several plot strands are wrapped up almost as soon as they are introduced and hints of other developments are left frustratingly hanging in the air, as though the film has decided not to bother with them after all. It’s a shame, as the conclusion is almost instantly forgettable and not worth racing towards at all.
A nice clean transfer, plenty of detail in the blacks and good contrast levels. Nothing to get excited about, though, we expect nothing less from such a recent film.
Ambient is the key word here. It’s never going to set your rears or sub on fire as much as the next Michael Bay epic, but they are used throughout the film to quite subtle effect. Good steering as well, and the voices and effects stay consistently clear throughout. There’s a breezy, safe rock soundtrack that sounds quite good in the mix as well.
All bonus features include optional English subtitles.
HBO Box Office special - This a waste of digital space and it’s doubtful you will even get to the end of its painful 13 minutes once, let alone twice. It’s quite horrible and pointless, and don’t even think of watching it before the film, as it includes some pretty major plot points.
Gag reel - Not funny gags, really, or interesting ones either. Though it is only five minutes long so it’s not too much time to waste.
Directors Commentary - First time director Bob Dolman gives a pleasing account of the making of the film. It’s a fairly interesting listen, as he spends most of the time pointing out little errors in the film and explaining some of the shot compositions.
A film that, given its cast could and should have been an above average comedy instead is a mawkish mess. A fairly strong start that soon gives rise to sugar rush of sentimentality. The disc itself is light on features, the commentary is fairly interesting and amusing, but that alone is not enough to warrant a purchase.