Monday, January 2, 2017

Now on Netflix: Sister Cities (2016)

Sister Cities (2016) - Directed by Sean Hanish; Written by Colette Freedman; Starring Jess Weixler, Jacki Weaver, Stana Katic, Troian Bellisario, Michelle Trachtenberg, Tom Everett Scott, Amy Smart, Alfred Molina.

By Kenny Howell

 A group of talented actors can't save a tonal mess of a movie in this family drama.

It's hard to know what kind of movie Sister Cities wants to be. It is the story of four sisters that come together when their mother, played by Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver (Equals), commits suicide in the bathtub in the her home. One of the sisters, Austin, played by one of the bright spots in Jess Weixler (Listen Up Philip), was in the house when she died, and calls the sisters all to come home. Since it is a suicide, the police leave the body in the bathtub until they can investigate the scene. The police chief (Tom Everett Scott) says it needs to be treated as a homicide until they can prove it was a suicide.

This sets up an intriguing scene, which is never really explored to its fullest extent. The four sisters have vast differences they need to work out, including ones with their mother, and they do it under the roof as their mom's corpse is upstairs. However, Sister Cities never really decides how it wants to approach that. Insightful drama, dark comedy, or cheesy Lifetime movie? It tries to mash all those elements together, sometimes in the same scene, and it almost never works. The sisters, except for maybe Weixler's Austin, are kind of stereotypes that we don't really get to truly learn. And since this is a movie about healing, someone jumps in water at some point. Cause that's how you deal with issues. Go underwater.

There is a gem of an interesting idea here, and I am sure that is what attracted the names to the film. However, it never really gets to that and dances around everywhere trying to figure out where it wants to be. It's just kind of all over the place.

Sister Cities is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: *

1 comment:

  1. It's all over the place because it's real. That's how real life works. This movie wasn't made to criticize. This movie was made to give light into a person's life after ALS. Heart breaking. Truly heart breaking. I needed a box of tissues. I could relate my two sisters and I lived with my mother who had epilepsy. She left us and hitchhiked West and we never seen her alive again. My oldest sister was 19, my other sister was 16, and I was 12. We were devastated, but that was her way of walking away with dignity. She wouldn't have wanted us to see her die, but she just couldn't live any longer with epilepsy. It's sad that you feel you need to criticize this movie that way. I give it two thumbs up and a box of tissues. Kudos to the writer.

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