Susan Sarandon as Lavinia Kingsley
Goldie Hawn as Suzette
Geoffrey Rush as Harry
Erika Christensen as Hannah
Eva Amurri as Ginger
Robin Thomas as Raymond Kingsley
Kohl Sudduth as the Hotel Clerk
“The Banger Sisters” has four stars: Susan Sarandon, Goldie Hawn, and Goldie Hawn’s breasts. Take that statement as you may. If seeing Goldie Hawn flaunt her “assets” for an hour and a half interests you, you should check out the flick. If not (and you aren’t in the 40+ age group the movie blatantly targets), I’d stay away from the Banger Sisters.
Suzette (Goldie Hawn), a groupie that “worked” on rock bands of the 70s, now labors in a modern rock club in LA and gets weary watching the young girls throw themselves at the musicians on stage. Suzette curses like a sailor and wears shirts that cut off way too high. When she gets fired, she decides to take a road trip to find her old groupie friend who now lives in Arizona.
On her way, she picks up manic depressive Harry (Geoffrey Rush), who is heading back to Phoenix to kill his father.
Suzette finally reaches Phoenix, only to find her former friend Lavinia (Susan Sarandon) happily married and conservative as ever. Suzette makes it her mission to bring Lavinia back to her groupie ways after discovering Lavinia’s daughter on drugs at Suzette’s hotel.
“The Banger Sisters” is a decent comedy that appeals to anyone who has ever loved a 70s rock band. Names like Jim Morrison and Robert Plant are thrown around and there is a scene with compromising photos of some rock stars which had me laughing. The whole problem with the premise is the alienation of anyone who didn’t live in the era the two women are flashing back to. If you did live in this era, you will most likely enjoy the movie if you can get past a few obstacles.
Writer/director Bob Dolman’s script isn’t funny until the 45-minute mark; the set-up takes forever and it just isn’t worth sitting through to get to the end of the film. Whenever a writer/director has a character that is a screenwriter in the film, you know that you may be in for a bumpy ride. His direction is very one-note and doesn’t deviate from the simplistic nature.
The main problem with the film is the script. Every scene is contrived and the dialogue is staid and boring. Susan Sarandon’s eventual turn to the “wild side” isn’t believable and a random flashback scene is thrown in to waste time. The running time is not too long and the pace is brisk enough for a comedy, but the movie still doesn’t play very well.
The set-up does pays off somewhat; the rest of the film is light and funny. There aren’t any gags (which is strange), but the film ends happily and the audience leaves with a smile plastered on their face.
Geoffrey Rush plays Woody Allen, plain and simple. It’s strange and comes from nowhere; if I wanted to see someone playing Woody Allen, I’d rent “Bullets Over Broadway” for John Cusack’s interpretation under the man’s direction.
Goldie Hawn is overbearing (and slightly obnoxious) as Suzette, which perfectly counterbalances Sarandon’s boring characterization of Lavinia. Sarandon has some range though, playing a stretch from her zany character in “Igby Goes Down”. Hawn is loud and her breasts are featured on almost every scene (and, believe me, it’s jarring). Erika Christensen and Eva Amurri have small supporting roles as Lavinia’s daughters and aren’t on screen long enough to make much of an impression.
I wouldn’t rush out to see “The Banger Sisters” unless you are a fan of Susan Sarandon or Goldie Hawn because the intense wait for the funny scenes is too much of a hassle to bear.