The Banger Sisters (2002)
Too Banged About
She offered me money to disappear - Suzette
"The Banger Sisters" had been on my to watch list for a long time because it starred Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon and let's be honest they look smoking on some of the advertising, the fact it also stars Geoffrey Rush was a bonus. Unfortunately "The Banger Sisters" didn't live up to my expectations and whilst the acting was enjoyable the movie itself just didn't work. It wasn't that it ended up familiar, covering the same ground that other movies have covered but because the mix of comedy and drama never comes together.
Suzette (Goldie Hawn - The First Wives Club) is the oldest groupie in town, she was there when Jim Morrison rocked people's world and is part of the establishment behind a bar, that is until she gets fired. With nothing left in her life she decides to drive across country to Phoenix where she plans to hook up with her groupie sister Vinnie (Susan Sarandon - Twilight), picking up neurotic writer Harry (Geoffrey Rush - House on Haunted Hill
) along the way when he offers to pay for gas. But on seeing Vinnie she wonders whether she has made a mistake as Vinnie is now Lavinia, a mother of two and a respectable member of society who is shocked to see Suzette for the first time in two decades. But things happen as Suzette's arrival not only brings issues in Lavinia's life to the surface but also in Harry's and her own.
So in "The Banger Sisters" we have one of those movies which mixes the familiar ideas of being true to yourself whilst dealing with changing times. Split up what we have is Suzette who having spent her entire life living it on her terms finds that the past she has been clinging on to is letting go of her as she is fired and she is left with nothing. Then on the other we have Lavinia who has reinvented herself and buried her true self becoming a prim and proper mother who condones her children for the sorts of things she use to do. As such it is no spoiler that when Suzette and Lavinia get together these issues are brought to the surface as they are both forced to face their problems with Harry, the neurotic mess being, well I will let you find out for yourself if you watch the movie.
I say if you watch because sadly "The Banger Sisters" is not that good and comes down to an uncomfortable, jarring mixture of comedy and drama. It all starts well enough with much humour coming from Goldie Hawn being the sexy, aging groupie in leather pants but as it flits between humour and drama it is just a mess. The end result is a movie which often struggles to keep your attention and that is long before it starts to struggle for fresh jokes.
The sad things is that "The Banger Sisters" is a movie with talent and it is that talent which makes it bearable. Goldie Hawn is so at home playing a sexy, well endowed groupie who still dresses like she is off to a gig every single day whilst Susan Sarandon is just as good at not only delivering the prim and proper mother but also the liberated aging groupie. Plus Geoffrey Rush as the neurotic Harry is simply so much fun with his quirks and uneasiness when Suzette sets about seducing him, a scene where Rush looks genuinely terrified that he is going to be eaten alive. But their characters despite being a drama are very shallow as are all the characters and it just adds to the disappointment.
What this all boils down to is that if you are fans of Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon then "The Banger Sisters" is just about bearable because of their performances. But other than that it is a disappointing movie which messily attempts to mix comedy and drama.
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