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|Index||143 reviews in total|
I just saw this movie, and all I can say is that many of the critics don't
`get it'-this is a fun romp, especially because of the efforts of the
extremely gifted actors in it. Sarandon as an "uptight" matron is a hoot.
Hawn giggles a bit, but shows us a force of nature as well. And Geoffrey
Rush's character is a wondrous "mess."
Basically, a best friends story, with a few twists and turns. Yes, I'd love to see more of a back story on how Vinnie becomes Lavinia and more of the Bangers' `history,' but for an afternoon of memories and joy, this is it.
I really appreciate the central question Bob Dolman seems to be asking.what happened to us? Kids, for those of us living before AIDS changed the sexual revolution and the greed of the '80s turned most of us into yuppies, we were `free-er.' Gee, it's a chick flick. The theatre was filled with women when I saw it, and they were all laughing at the jokes and sighing at common experiences. The Harry Plummer character? Just think about his reaction to Suzette's caring for her friend's child. The scene shows her `real' character, not just the `floozy.'
If you want great meaning and angst, rent a Bergman DVD; for a fun romp, SEE THIS MOVIE!
In Los Angeles, when the bartender Suzette (Goldie Hawn) is fired from
the club where she works, she decides to travel to Phoenix and visit
her friend and also former groupie of twenty years ago Vinnie (Susan
Sarandon) to borrow some money. While on the road, she runs out of gas
and without any money, she accepts to bring the stressed loser writer
Harry Plummer (Geoffrey Rush) and in return he would pay for the
gasoline. When she meets her old friend, now Mrs. Lavinia Kingsley, she
finds a very conservative and traditional housewife, married with the
successful lawyer Raymond Kingsley (Robin Thomas) and mother of two
complicated teenagers, Hanna and Ginger. Their interaction along a few
days improves their lives.
"The Banger Sisters" has a good premise, that some people never change while others repress their feelings, but it is badly executed. The idea of how people change their behavior when raise a family could be deeply developed based on the past of the two "banger sisters", but the way the forgotten and unknown past of Vinnie is disclosed to her family is absolute shallow and without any purpose. I believe Bob Dolman was lazy or afraid to shift to a profound drama, and preferred the easiest and most superficial way to make the confrontation between two exaggerated sides: the one who lives in the past and the other that does not use her experience to improve her relationship with her daughters and husband. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "Doidas Demais" ("Too Crazies")
"The Banger Sisters" tells of two middle-aged women, once best friend rock groupies, who have taken different paths through life. Upon reuniting after 20 years they rediscover each other and, most of all, themselves. A fun and funny chick flick with summa-dis and summa-dat in lieu of a story, this light hearted comedy runs the gamut from silliness to poignancy to middle-aged romance to sentimental stuff with only an occasional speed bump along the way winding up with a message about being true to yourself. An enjoyable three star flick for more mature audiences, especially the distaff. (B)
I wasn't expecting much from this movie, but ended up enjoying it! Susan Sarandon plays a character like a lot of mothers. She's been so busy bringing up a family, that she forgets who she is and what she stands for and Suzette, Goldie Hawn brings her "back". This movie reminds you to be true to yourself. Remember who you were at 18? Well, some of that teenager, some of her beliefs and dreams are still inside you. And I love how neurotic the 16 year old daughter is --"Ginger, open your throat." She has a little phlegm problem. This movie has some very real moments. I think that most women could appreciate it!
My subject line sort of sums up my views on this movie. The plot is not particularly original. Once you know hook, you can predict much of the rest of the movie. The difference is that they stir the pot a little in this one, and the cast seems to really enjoy working together and is fun to watch. There are a few minor surprises, but who cares. This is a movie about the charisma of it's stars, and they all shine. This is not a movie that will go down in history, it will not change your life, but it is not a bad way to spend an hour and a half.
Banger Sisters is a funny romp and completely enjoyable movie about living life and being true to oneself. Geoffrey Rush is over the top and provides a real different sense of humor while Goldie Hawn is her reliable, funny, sad, and confident self. Susan Sarandon gets to evolve or de-evolve in front of the audience in this comedy drama. A great way to enjoy the beginning of the 2002 fall movie season to bring in the autumn with a movie that reflects upon our past and where we are going. It brings two very different cultures together in a poignant and comical way.
There is a good deal of decent dialogue in this movie, and Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon know how to make the most of it. As a fan of old movies, I could never fault a script for being "formulaic." Let's face it, if you've seen a thousand movies, you've seen it all. As long as the writer gets it right, a movie can, at the very least, be admired. In this case, it can be appreciated. This movie is fun, it doesn't take itself too seriously, and there are some important messages: remember the importance of being supremely sure of yourself, of having a best friend, and of hearing Led Zeppelin in concert. It shouldn't be relegated to the category "chick flick." It is about a person who seems to drift aimlessly through life, and winds up portraying someone who makes a positive impact on many peoples' lives. Watching Goldie's/Suzette's face as she and Susan/Vinnie start to dance for the first time in 20 years also made me remember something important: when women friends dance together, it's different than men and women dancing. They enter into a partnership that says, for the next few minutes, we will do something cool together, and, sometimes, that's an important thing to do.
... another movie in which white people are shown to be uptight,
needing a 'natural force' to show them the error of their ways. In this
case, though, it's
not Whoopi Goldberg, it's Goldie Hawn who breezes into town (Phoenix, in
teaches everyone who their true self is (in less than 24 hours - quite a
breezes out again. It's an old story (these days), and not very well
The only real character (despite the title) is Goldie Hawn's Suzette. Nobody else really gets to enunciate what the heck is wrong with them (though they all know it, which is quite a trick in itself), or gets to say anything interesting at all. So what we're left with is Goldie Hawn and a bunch of cardboard cutouts of unhappy people whose problems are so skin-deep that they can be solved more or less instantaneously (heck, even the guy with father issues, who intends to shoot himself over his father's grave is cured with the equivalent of "snap out of it" and a little -- very little -- sex.)
So give this one a pass; it ain't worth your time. 2/10
The movie was an enormous surprise. I expected s0me 90 minutes of thin fun, and I got to see one of the best, simple small movies about the life we most often let pass by and let it to very few we usually consider half wrecks to live it, not understanding what we've done with what was given to us and we did refuse. I don't expect this review to help you, but it helps me to see it clearer. Most reviewers did understand nothing, and demonstrated so that people feel better when aging as working, seeing, loving, behaving as zombies, in other words like 90% of those who drove us crazy when we were 16 or 22. Thank you all very much for reading this! Besides Goldie Hawn who shines like a handful of diamonds the director succeeded to put together an excellent team of first class actors, they all together give you so many hands full with diamonds that you look like Shiva, the multi-armed Hindu God :-) Mihai-Robert Soran-Schwartz
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Goldie Hawn has played lovable and honest airheads (CACTUS FLOWERS),
able bank robbery assistants ("$"), spoiled brats who find themselves
by army service (PRIVATE BENJAMIN), spoiled millionaires who find
themselves by amnesia (OVERBOARD), troubled movie stars that gets even
- with the help of their friends - on rotten husbands (FIRST WIVES
CLUB), and even selfish women who end up gaining immortality - but
being locked in a permanent hell with an equally selfish, immortal,
female enemy (DEATH BECOMES HER). Most of her films and performances
are really good - and she has been one of the few (very few) "Blond
Bombshells" with lasting movie power. Personally I think she knows how
to choose most of her properties, and that helps.
THE BANGER SISTERS is a sensible variant on THELMA AND LOUIS, which Hawn's co-star, Susan Sarandon, made with Geena Davis years earlier. Unlike that classic which ended in a suicidal drive off a cliff by the heroines, this one confronts the issues of individuality reemerging with less destruction as a result.
Suzette (Hawn) has just been fired from her job, and is driving in the southwest without any really clear plan for future action. She stops in the desert and picks up Harry Plummer (Geoffrey Rush - with a nicely done American accent in this film). Plummer is a writer at beam's end - suffering numerous emotional quirks and a current writer's block, all of which he blames on his father. It seems nothing Harry ever did pleased his father. He is going to Phoenix, Arizona to confront the old man. Suzette drives him to Phoenix, and after they separate she goes to look up her oldest friend "Vinnie" (short for Lavinia - Sarandon). She finds her friend in an up-scale section of Phoenix, and watches her friend kiss her daughter (older daughter Hannah - Ericka Christensen) good night as the daughter goes off to her high school graduation prom. Sarandon is certainly dressed like a social matron type now - understandably as we later learn her husband (Raymond Kingsley - Robin Thomas) is a highly successful lawyer with political aspirations. But this is unsettling to Suzette - when she knew Vinnie they were palling around Los Angeles twenty years later, and having a raucous old time.
Suzette returns to the hotel that Harry is at, and (despite his protests) camps down there in a spare room. Harry is too neurotic to take advantage of Suzette's free-spirit offer of sex, but he does allow her to stay. It's lucky she does - Hannah and her fellow students are at their prom in the hotel, and Hannah had taken some bad "acid" and gotten sick. Suzette steps in to help Hannah with this problem, and then drives her back to her home. And in doing so she confronts Vinnie.
Vinnie recognizes Suzette - and totally misunderstands her being there. She thinks that Suzette is there to get money. Quite hurt at this (and an offer to give her $5,000.00), Suzette explains she was just driving Hannah home and leaves. Vinnie learns from Hannah that she took drugs and Suzette helped her. Later that morning the still stiff-necked Vinnie visits Suzette in Harry's hotel room and apologizes (stiffly) and offers to take her to lunch the next day. Suzette accepts.
Two plots slowly evolve here. Harry's neuroses towards women crumble as he gets to know what Suzette is like - he even keeps a hot bath for her while she is out driving Hannah back home. Suzette and Vinnie get to know each other and the divide between them as Suzette watches how Vinnie is a control freak over Hannah's relationship with a boyfriend, and on trying to build-up the self-esteem of younger daughter Ginger (Eva Amurri) despite the latter's bratty crying and selfishness. Vinnie notes how all her clothes "are beige" while Suzette looks like a walking flower (because of her free and easy lifestyle).
While Suzette slowly gets Harry to emerge from his neurotic cocoon (and even start typing up a literary storm while she is out), she also reawakens long dormant freedoms that Vinnie clamped down on in her rise as Raymond's wife. She ditches her own smart uppity wardrobe and wears a set of Suzette's clothes (in fact it helps matters here that Sarandon, like Hawn, has a really nice figure - they both have very tight pants on, and look quite hot together). Vinnie reveals a treasure trove in her basement - a small box of "special photos" she and Suzette took back when of their favorite musicians*). She even starts smoking (with Suzette) a marijuana cigarette, They even go out to a bar to dance (it takes awhile for Vinnie to get into the swing here).
(*The photos are very special - and of special equipment.)
But how far can this release go? It upsets Raymond, Hannah, and Ginger to see "Mom" acting so odd. And the constant sight of Vinnie with her family reminds free spirit Suzette of her sacrifice - similar to that of Anne Bancroft vis-a-vis Shirley MacLaine in THE TURNING POINT - of doing what she wanted, and failing to get a family in the process.
Also how far will things succeed for Harry? He too is being freed, but he keeps sliding when he meets with some nasty set-back. And there is still the problem of settling the issue with his Dad.
THE BANGER SISTERS was not a box office dud, but it never got the notice from critics that were given in 2002 to other films. It is a fun and thoughtful film of how our wild and conservative sides have to make time for each other for us to be totally happy individuals.
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