Recs & Reviews

Party Moms and Divorces: A Feminist Watches “Sisters”

 

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This Christmas, I walked arm-in-arm with my older sisters to go see the most probable movie in that situation — Sisters, with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. I’d been excited to see the movie since I first heard about it because, like many women in America, I am huge fans of both of these actresses. They may have their setbacks (mostly with supporting a specific brand of white feminism), but overall, I’ve always felt that they made me laugh, and never use damaging stereotypes against women to do it. So who doesn’t want to see Amy and Tina pretending to be even closer than they already are? From Amy Poehler’s strong portrayal of one of my favorite characters (and personal role models), Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation, to Tina Fey’s acting and writing in 30Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, this is the best Christmas present I could have asked for—watching two women that I love and adore, and that are making strides in a male-dominated world of entertainment.

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And as expected, when we walked out of the movie, my sisters both asked me what I thought of the movie as an outspoken feminist. And my answer applies as both a feminist, and a general moviegoer. I loved it. And I’ll tell you why (SPOILERS AHEAD).

There was romance, of course. There was an entire romantic subplot, revolving around Amy Poehler’s poised, classy character, Maura, trying to “loosen up” and finally get a man after her divorce. Even though the romance’s biggest climax was a music box stuck inside one of them (IT WAS HIM AND IT WENT IN HIS BUTT), I loved it. It was Maura’s redemption in her own way. It showed us her confidence and her ability to work past her problems in order to open up to someone else. Best of all, the movie didn’t end in marriage, but in a long-term relationship. And she was happy. After everything we see Maura go through to get to this place of emotional intimacy, it makes the relationship worth the stereotype.

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And Tina Fey’s character? The typical rebellious bad-girl, Kate? She’s a single mother, working hard to provide for her daughter. The biggest fight between the sisters is when Maura tried to help Kate support her daughter, Haley. And as hilarious as it is to watch Tina Fey flirt with John Cena, that’s as far as the joke goes. Even better, they accurately discuss the role of a “party mom,” something I am usually proud to be in those situations. It’s the sober friend to help you out when you can’t help yourself—and it shows us that Kate is maternal, as well as impulsive. Kate’s story ends with her using her party skills to climb into a LARGE SINKHOLE and save her daughter, proving her worth as a mother and her love for Haley. That’s beyond creative, hilarious, and personally the only ending I wanted for her. In our flash-forward at the end, Kate is happy with her daughter, and single, showing that being a parent on her own is all she needs to feel fulfilled.

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If you’ve read this spoiler-filled article and still haven’t seen Sisters, go watch it. Enjoy two hours of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler being actual sisters, partying with a star-filled cast, and showing us that you can have a man if you want. Or you can be single if you want. As long as you’ve got your girls with you, you can conquer anything.

Photo credit: Cover, 1, 2, 3

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