The Banger Sisters

Bomb Rating: 

It ranks right up there with watching pets die.

I knew this film was in a heap of trouble the second one of Lavinia's daughters (Erika Christensen) started talking about her upcoming valedictorian speech. I hoped against hope that first-time director Bob Dolman would have enough sense to realize that nobody wants to watch a valedictorian speech in a movie. It ranks right up there with watching pets die.

What a dreamer I am. The daughter gives her stupid speech, which is just slightly less pretentious than a Harvard alumni meeting. We essentially get to listen to the director telegraph the movie's theme through the mouth of this snotty girl. So, to save you some time: The movie is about being true to yourself. Thank you. Good night.

The daughter learns this valuable lesson because Suzette (Goldie Hawn) comes a-calling. Suzette, you see, is a fifty-something former rock groupie with big, fake breasts. She comes to visit her friend and former "banger" sister, Lavinia (Susan Sarandon). Unfortunately, Lavinia has become respectable, but Suzette quickly recognizes that Lavinia doesn't really enjoy her life. Suzette will teach her to be happy once again. You see, Suzette is true to herself and thus, happy -- though she probably has enough foreign bacteria roaming around her uterus to start a chemical weapons facility.

Lavinia's other daughter (Eva Amurri) is sixteen, is pursuing her driver's license and has two very peculiar characteristics: She makes a weird, throaty noise when she breathes and, as her sister mentions, she eats all the time and never gains any weight. Does this scream "bulimia" to anyone else? Apparently the executives at 20th Century Fox decided that a women's story involving loose sex and bulimia was just too much, because the girl's peculiarities mysteriously vanish. Instead of mulling over any lingering problems, "The Banger Sisters" wraps up its story in record time. Lavinia's respectable husband is perfectly understanding about his wife having played host to more cock than a chicken-processing plant. The daughters decide their mother is cool because she's had sex with hundreds of strange men. Lavinia gets to be herself. Suzette bounces off into the sunset having done her good deeds.

I'm not sure what the message is here, but apparently there aren't any consequences to screwing every musician or failed writer that happens to cross your path. I tend to think that, in the real world, Suzette would look a lot more like Keith Richards, given her sexual and drug history, and following her and a buddy through their nostalgic golden years would be far more depressing than entertaining.

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