Sunday, April 22, 2018
Things To Do

Review: 'Sisters' is unfunny misstep from Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are an unbeatable comedy team. That doesn't make them infallible.

Their second screen pairing, Sisters, is too much of a good thing, a flimsy premise with an implosion countdown of maybe 85 minutes, stretched a half-hour beyond that. Not like Judd Apatow's rambling improv but by continuing to cram in our faces jokes that aren't working.

Start with the casting of Fey and Poehler switching types. This time Poehler is the uptight, awkward one, someone resembling her Parks and Recreation role. That corner is usually reserved for Fey, as in their previous comedy Baby Mama, while Poehler plays loose cannon. Fey can play loose popgun, not this brassy extrovert.

Fey plays Kate Ellis, still in a hoochie mama high school state of mind and body. Kate is a single mom out of touch with her daughter (Madison Davenport), unable to keep a nail salon job and broke. Her bailout parents (James Brolin, Dianne Wiest) are fed up, ready to sell their Orlando home and move to a seniors community.

Poehler plays good daughter Maura, caring and generous to annoying faults. Divorced and hating it, Maura is a glass-half-full person who'll worry about what's in the glass. She needs to loosen up, and Kate is an expert. Going home to clean out their shared bedroom is their chance.

Kate and Maura decide to throw one last party like the old days, gathering old classmates, a Korean manicure squad, Bobby Moynihan intentionally annoying, lesbian stereotypes (including SNL's Kate McKinnon), and John Cena as a hulking drug dealer named Pazuzu. Maya Rudolph crashes the party. Cena is the only one not under the false impression that louder is funnier.

Most of the gags are too raunchy to repeat, and repeated so often that snickers become sighs. Even Maura's nicely developing romance with a neighbor (Ike Barinholtz) goes there, way up there. Director Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect) and screenwriter Paula Pell throw jokes in a bucket and splash them on the wall to see what sticks. Not much.

Fey and Poehler remain game throughout, mustering a bit of besties magic here and there. Sisters flips a tested formula to become the New Coke of comedy, looking familiar and bubbly on the surface, disposable before it's finished.

Contact Steve Persall at [email protected] or (727) 893-8365. Follow @StevePersall.

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Review: Kenny Chesney goes big all night in Trip Around the Sun Tour opener at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium

Review: Kenny Chesney goes big all night in Trip Around the Sun Tour opener at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium

You could drop all kinds of stats trying to size up Kenny Chesney's Trip Around the Sun Tour, which launched its 2018 run at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium Saturday night.There's the end zone-swallowing stage, 180 tons thick and half a skyscraper high...
Published: 04/22/18

Sunday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosNHRA: SpringNationals2 p.m.FS1IndyCar: Grand Prix of Alabama3 p.m.NBCSNBaseballTwins at Rays1 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMMarlins at Brewers2 p.m.FSFIndians at Orioles2 p.m.MLBCubs at Rockies (in progress)4 p.m.MLBNationals at Dodgers8 p.m.ESPNColle...
Published: 04/21/18
Record Store Day 2018: Vinyl lovers flock to indie record shops across Tampa Bay

Record Store Day 2018: Vinyl lovers flock to indie record shops across Tampa Bay

Record Store Day returned Saturday, and with it hundreds of early-rising vinyl lovers hoping to score exclusive records by Prince, Neil Young, Arcade Fire, Run the Jewels, the National and many others.At spots like Bananas and Daddy Kool in St. Peter...
Published: 04/21/18
Actor Verne Troyer, Mini-Me from ‘Austin Powers’ films, dead at 49

Actor Verne Troyer, Mini-Me from ‘Austin Powers’ films, dead at 49

LOS ANGELES — Actor Verne Troyer from the Austin Powers movie franchise has died. A statement provided by Troyer’s spokesperson that was also posted to his Instagram and Facebook accounts says the 49-year-old actor died Saturday. No cause or place of...
Published: 04/21/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of April 23-29

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of April 23-29

St. Anthony’s Triathlon: World class athletes and Olympians race around St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park on Sunday ($160-$180), while kids and novices race Saturday in the Meek and Mighty. A free kick-off celebration Friday has a concert by country artist...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Mystery writer Lee Goldberg, author of ‘True Fiction,’ talks Agatha Christie, and more

Mystery writer Lee Goldberg, author of ‘True Fiction,’ talks Agatha Christie, and more

NightstandLee GoldbergGoldberg, the author of 30 books, has also been a writer and producer for several TV shows, including Monk and Diagnosis Murder. His new novel is True Fiction, an Ian Ludlow mystery. When we caught up with him by phone recently ...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
RIP Avicii, an EDM superstar who helped break rave culture in America

RIP Avicii, an EDM superstar who helped break rave culture in America

Here's all you need to know about this decade's explosion of electronic dance music in America.In September of 2011, Swedish DJ Avicii played a late-night show at a nightclub on Ulmerton Road in Clearwater.By June of the following year, he was headli...
Published: 04/20/18
Tampa Theatre is showing ‘Reefer Madness’ tonight on 420 Day

Tampa Theatre is showing ‘Reefer Madness’ tonight on 420 Day

The campy gem known as Reefer Madness is screening at 10:30 p.m. tonight at the history Tampa Theatre, a perfect bit of programming on 420 Day. Today's day is 4/20 and it has beeen adopted in some circles as Weed Day because of the numeral code used ...
Published: 04/20/18
Producer and DJ Avicii has been found dead

Producer and DJ Avicii has been found dead

Avicii, the Grammy-nominated electronic dance DJ who performed sold-out concerts for feverish fans around the world and also had massive success on U.S. pop radio, died Friday. He was 28. Publicist Diana Baron said in a statement that the Swedish per...
Published: 04/20/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 22

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 22

American Stage in the Park: The Producers: Mel Brooks’ classic cult comedy sees a down-and-out producer and his accountant scheme to produce the most notorious flop in theater history. Through May 13. 8 p.m., Demens Landing, 100 First Ave. SE, St. Pe...
Published: 04/20/18