Last time they starred in a movie together, 2008’s “Baby Mama,” Tina Fey and Amy Poehler weren’t quite as big as they are now. They’d made their names on “SNL,” which Fey was two years out of and Poehler was just about to depart, but “30 Rock” was only a year in, and “Parks & Recreation” was still a year away from beginning. Their best-selling books were some time away, they hadn’t yet stormed the hosting gig at the Golden Globes, and Fey’s devastating impersonation of Sarah Palin was still a few months away.
Nevertheless, the film was a modest spring success, but bigger things are expected of their 2015 big-screen team-up, “Sisters” (no relation to the Brian De Palma film). Written by their former SNL colleague, the great Paula Pell, and directed by “Pitch Perfect” helmer Jason Moore, the film sees the pair as two semi-estranged siblings who discover that their parents are selling their childhood home, and decide to throw one great big final party while they’re clearing the place out.
Ike Barinholtz, Maya Rudolph, Greta Lee, Rachel Dratch, John Leguizamo, Kate McKinnon, James Brolin, Ja Rule (!) and John Cena (who, after proving surprisingly great in “Trainwreck,” gets the biggest laugh here) also star, and the trailer suggests a sort of female-centric spin on “Neighbors.” It’s interesting to see Fey and Poehler’s typical roles reversed, with Poehler more straight-laced and Fey the crazy one.
It’s not the greatest comedy trailer we’ve ever seen, but Fey and Poehler will certainly be enough to get us in the door, and Universal seem to be confident in it: the film’s opening on December 18th, directly opposite the box-office behemoth of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Can it survive? We’ll find out nearer the time.