Published Dec 01, 2002Leave it to Hollywood to make a pat, feel-good movie about two women whose former claim to fame was their superior ability to suck cock. The Banger Sisters is the story of Suzette (Goldie Hawn) and Vinnie (Susan Sarandon), former best friends who spent their youth in the pants of famous musicians (and some roadies) but have been estranged for over 20 years. While Suzette clings desperately to her wild past, still bartending at L.A.'s Whiskey-a-Go-Go in the same pair of leather pants; Vinnie (now Lavinia) has gone straight, moved to Arizona, married a lawyer, and become an uptight, overbearing housewife and mother. Financial duress drives Suzette to travel to Phoenix to look up her old friend, where, along the way, she picks up the obsessive-compulsive Harry (Geoffrey Rush), a failed screenwriter who is going back to his hometown to kill his father. Upon arrival, Suzette's sudden re-appearance turns Lavinia's seeminglyperfect repressed little family home upside down, forcing her to confront the life she left behind and the toll that keeping secrets has taken on her home.
The whole film feels way too contrived, from the odd-couple dynamic of the two leads and the bizarre, instantaneous relationship between Suzette and Harry, to the lesson-filled "stay true to yourself" ending. You can see each character's revelations and transformations coming from a mile away, and they encounter such little resistance to these changes that it all seems too easy. It doesn't help either that every major plot point was shown in the trailer, making actually sitting through the film feel a little redundant. Given the subject matter, the movie should really be a lot scuzzier, but quite to the contrary, everything comes together ever-so-nicely, practically culminating in a group hug. Though the performances are just fine across the board, even great actors such as Sarandon and Rush can do little to elevate this material.