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THE BANGER SISTERS

Susan Sarandon, Goldie Hawn, Geoffrey Rush, Erika Christensen, Robin Thomas

Directed by: Bob Dolman
Written by: Bob Dolman

US: 20/09/02 UK: 31/01/03

Two old friends, played by Susan Sarandon and Goldie Hawn, meet up and reflect on their wild youth together when they were groupies to rock and roll bands. Problem is: one's just the same while the other's wound tighter than a PTA meeting, married with kids and dressed in Beige...

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Wow.. fifties poster girls still have it



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DSL


Hawn and Sarandon sink their teeth into well-written roles in this wry and entertaining mid-life comedy-drama. They play Suzette and Vinnie, respectively, best pals from the 1960s when they were groupies extraordinaire, named the Banger Sisters by Frank Zappa himself. All these years later Suzette is still working as a barmaid in a West Hollywood rock club, while Vinnie ("Call me Lavinia") is an uptight suburban housewife in upscale Phoenix with an ambitious lawyer husband and two teen daughters (Christensen and Amurri) of her own. When Suzette loses her job, she heads east to see her old friend for the first time in 20 years, along the way picking up a nebbish writer (Rush) afraid of life itself. Basically, Suzette's love-life mentality infects everyone.

But there's more to it than that. Suzette is living in the past while Lavinia is living only for the future, and of course both of them discover the present as the film progresses. This is an important message, and writer-director Dolman knows that, but he never hammers his point in. Instead he just concentrates on the characters and lets Hawn and Sarandon do what they do best: light up the screen with sharp, witty and clever performances. Their chemistry is terrific--why they've never made a film together before is anyone's guess. Rush even manages to make his initially cartoonish character come to life. And Christensen and Amurri (Sarandon's real daughter) are superb, dealing with their own issues and struggling with the idea that their bland, self-righteous mother has a torrid past. Essentially, this film touches on many of the same themes as Thelma & Louise, but in a much more off-handed way. It's thoroughly enjoyable and only falters in its overly touching climax. But at least Dolman and his cast continually undercut the sappy moments with snappy irreverence.

 


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