The Banger Sisters (2002)
"Pity he wasted his talent on guitar--with an organ like that!'
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For whatever reason, I was under the impression that this new comedy was PG-13 when I sat down to watch it. I found out in a hurry that the film is in fact rated R, as star Goldie Hawn drops the F bomb quite frequently. Not that language bugs me in a movie. Far from it. It's just in The Banger Sisters, it seemed out of place. And for those of you thinking the title of this movie sounds somewhat dirty, you'd be right.
The Banger Sisters is a nickname given to Suzette and Lavinia (played by Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon), a couple of groupies who were legendary in the eyes of several high profile rock stars. Of course through the years, Suzette and Lavinia have changed. Well, Lavinia has anyway. Suzette is still the free spirit she always was, but finds herself in a funk. She decides to visit her old friend whom she hasn't seen in twenty years to find that her one time partying partner, now married, is completely different. Before long, Lavinia rediscovers her youth thanks to the Suzette's influence.
The Banger Sisters certainly has some laugh out loud moments. There's a hilarious sequence in which Suzette and Lavinia break out photos from their past. This stuff is a little raunchy to talk about in print, so let me just say that Jimmy Page should consider himself proud. Sadly, there's a lot of dead space in The Banger Sisters. Particularly the final act which is sluggish to say the least. I also didn't really buy the Sarandon transformation. It just didn't flow well at all. Perhaps it's because the whole scenario is all too obvious, or maybe it's just because everything seemed rushed. The most interesting aspect of The Banger Sisters is the relationship that brews between Hawn and the screenwriting hitchhiker (played by a neurotic Geoffrey Rush) she picks up. There's something subtle and genuine that develops between the two actors.
Hawn definitely has the heftier role here. Her turn as Suzette feels as if it's an older version of real life daughter Kate Hudson's character in Almost Famous. Sexy and carefree, Hawn is a joy to watch, and her comic timing is right on the money. Sarandon on the other hand seems bored. And as I stated before, her transformation from pinch-face to free spirit, feels all too sudden and unconvincing. I really enjoyed Rush. While this is a far cry from his Oscar-worthy work, he does seem to be having fun, and this is a big step up from the dreadful Fear dot com.
The Banger Sisters is ultimately a story about friendship and two women who want to hold on to their youth. While this film gets these points across, there's nothing particularly fresh about the fashion in which it goes about it. Still, this is a movie with some funny moments if your willing to sit through the stuff that doesn't work. I also applaud Hawn and Sarandon. Two beautiful actresses who refuse to let age get in their way.
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