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The Banger Sisters

2002/Dir: Bob Dolman/Goldie Hawn/Susan Sarandon/Geoffre Rush/Erika Christensen/Eva Amurri

Sometimes I have low standards. Sometimes thinking is too much effort. That’s why I watched this movie. Really, it’s best if you don’t think. I’m not going to pretend that no enjoyment was had. I laughed. My heartstrings were tugged. Blah blah blah. But something about “The Banger Sisters” didn’t sit right with me. It’s something to do with women and how they choose to live their lives and what someone has deemed as valid ways for them to be fulfilled.

The movie starts with Suzette (Goldie Hawn) who’s bartending at a live music venue in LA. She’s one of those older women who’s still cool and passionate about the music scene. Oh but wait she’s drinking while she bartends. That must mean that she’s masking some secret pain because women never drink in movie unless it’s representative of something. Anyway, she gets fired and she’s all broke and nostalgic I guess, so she heads out on a road trip to look up her old groupie buddy Vinnie and maybe borrow some money. Along the way she picks up the incredibly neurotic Harry (Geoffrey Rush). Of course Vinnie is now conservative Lavinia with a beige house and a beige wardrobe and a family that has no idea about her colorful past. I’m trying very hard to fanwank how Suzette knew Vinnie married a rich guy yet this guy didn’t know she’d been a groupie. At first Vinnie is mortified by her old friend but then Suzette opens her eyes to what’s going on with her kids, which she knows of course because she’s like “still in touch with her youth” or something. And Vinnie has some kind of breakdown that involves her putting on vinyl pants and going out dancing. Meanwhile Harry has loosened up due to Suzette’s benevolent carefree nature. Basically it winds up with everyone realizing that they’re all beautiful and wonderful people. Gag.

See, this is where I have the problem. There’s this big speech about “be true” or “live true” or some such nonsense that I’ve really tried to block out because it made me want to puke and the grammar was poor. And it is great that Vinnie can finally share this part of herself with her family. But because they had to go and hook up Suzette with Harry, I feel like they’re completely invalidating her life. As if it weren’t enough for her to have built her life around something she was passionate about because she has no family, no man who needs her to take care of him. I wanted to see her and Vinnie open their own club, display their collected photos of rock star genitals, and just be fabulous. And in my version, that’s exactly what happened.