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The Banger Sisters

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: The Banger Sisters

Starring: Susan Sarandon, Goldie Hawn
Director: Bob Dolman
Rated: R
RunTime: 97 Minutes
Release Date: September 2002
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Geoffrey Rush, Erika Christensen, Robin Thomas, Eva Amurri

Review by Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4

Remember the eager "band aid" played by Kate Hudson in "Almost Famous"? Skip ahead 20 years and she's warped into Hudson's real-life mother, Goldie Hawn. Goldie plays Suzette, a blowzy, tattooed, down-on-her-luck bartender who drives from L.A. to Phoenix to borrow money from her old friend, Vinny, whom she hasn't seen for 20 years. When they were young, they were promiscuous rock groupies, so legendary that they were dubbed "The Banger Sisters" by the late Frank Zappa. "If you played L.A., chances are we rattled you," recalls Suzette, whose claim-to-fame was that Jim Morrison passed out underneath her one night. But in the interim, Lavinia has become a repressed, uptight suburban housewife who prunes plum trees, drives carpools and does good deeds in the community. Like her clothes, her life is boring beige - until Suzette reminds her of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, along with the good-time girl she once was and what she's lost on the road to prim propriety. By sheer force of sexy, well-preserved talent, Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon triumph over Canadian writer/director Bob Dolman's sloppy, uneven, lackluster script, with Geoffrey Rush as a frustrated, neurotic screenwriter who's come to Phoenix to shoot his father. Robin Thomas is almost a cipher as Lavinia's bewildered husband, while Erika Christensen and Eva Amurri (Susan Sarandon's real-life daughter) are memorable as her spoiled teenagers. Even if the inconsistent, cliché-ridden plot is predictable, at least it has a vivacious charm and the just right touch of nostalgic, bittersweet poignancy. And if it doesn't do well at the box-office now, I suspect it will still have a long, happy life on the video shelf. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Banger Sisters" is a raunchy, spicy 7, an off-color chick-flick for grown-ups.

Copyright © 2002 Susan Granger

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