The Banger Sisters (review)

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Fast forward Almost Famous‘s groupie “band aids” 30 years, and you end up with Suzette, still a brash, tattooed party gal living from moment to moment, and Lavinia, now a respectable suburban mom and wife to an aspiring politician. Their former lives of sex — lots of sex — drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll catch up with them, haunting them in different ways, when Suz drops in from Hollywood to visit Vinnie in Phoenix, decades since their last meeting. Fresh and funny, this charming, bittersweet film makes the most of the considerable comedic talents of Goldie Hawn (Town and Country) as Suzette (in virtually the same role her daughter, Kate Hudson, played in Famous) and Susan Sarandon (Stepmom) as Lavinia, who help each other discover that living in the past is just as wrongheaded as pretending the past never happened, though there are many well-aimed barbs at the kicking and screaming both women put up on the way to that realization. Writer/director Bob Dolman bypasses cheap laughs, thankfully, in favor of surprisingly touching ones, and finds the chords of sincerity and authenticity in even the women’s uniquely female experiences, so it’s hardly surprising that he also gets it right with Harry, the burned-out writer Suzette picks up on the road to Phoenix who could also use a reminder to live in the present (Geoffrey Rush [Quills] as Harry shows off some nice comic chops, too). More trenchant than you’d expect from a comedy about middle-aged groupies, this is a wonderful film, not to be missed.

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