The Banger Sisters


Directed by: Bob Doleman
Written by:Bob Doleman
Starring: Goldie Hawn, Susan Sarandon, Geoffrey Rush, Erika Christensen, Robin Thomas
Released: November 21, 2002
Grade: A-

Back in the 70s, Suzette (Hawn) and Lavinia (Sarandon) partied long and hard.  They drank heaps, did drugs, slept with rock stars and loved every minute of it.  Time then came between them.  Lavinia settled down, married a lawyer, had two daughters and now lives in a posh home (with a maid) in Phoenix.  Suzette continued to work at a dingy bar and seemingly slept with half the clientele.

Fired after years of slacking off, Suzette reflects back on days past and decides after almost 20 years, to give Lavinia a visit.  She begins a journey across the country only to soon run out of fuel.  At a gas station, she meets Harry (Rush), a washed-up screenwriter with obsessive compulsive disorder.  He’s fed up with the standard of his travel bus and offers Lavinia a tank of fuel if she’ll also take him to Phoenix.

As expected, Lavinia isn’t thrilled to see Suzette.  That part of her life had long been buried and she’s happy with the way things are.  Or at least that’s what she thought.  Suzette’s arrival has her suddenly reevaluating life.  Yes, everyone on the outside has the perception that she lives the perfect life but on the inside, there’s a yearning for the excitement and adventure she felt as a carefree teenager.

Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon are both Academy Award winning actresses and light up the screen with hilariously sentimental performances.  On a looks versus age basis, Hawn and Sarandon are the best in the business.  It’s almost impossible to believe they’re 57 and 56 years old respectively.  They’re performances in The Banger Sisters are relaxed and you can see many impromptu elements.  Many scenes see them splitting open with laughter and I sure they’re not acting.

It’s an unusually conventional role for Geoffrey Rush but he gets great audience response with his quirky character.  He’s the perfect supporting actor alongside these two starlets.  Erika Christensen (Traffic, Swimfan) and Eva Amurri make great loathing material as the daughters.  Casting doesn’t come much simpler that of Amurri.  She plays Sarandon’s daughter in the movie and yep, she’s Sarandon’s daughter in real life.

Maybe not realistic, but these characters are fun and easy to love.  I can see the target audience aimed higher than that of myself but it’s certainly a sweet film for all ages.