Screenwriter Bob Dolman makes his directorial debut with The Banger Sisters. Previously, he was best known for writing the 1992 saga, Far And Away, starring our Nicole and Tom Cruise. According to Dolman, the idea for The Banger Sisters, not the most appealing of titles, was in gestation for many years. Inspiration for the film came partially from Stoned Immaculate, one of Jim Morrison’s lesser known songs, which went, One summer night, going to the pier I ran into two young girls. The blonde was called Freedom, the dark one Enterprise. Are you starting to get the drift? Of course, the heydays of The Doors was the late 60s, so why not look at where the rock chicks are in the year 2001?
So Dolman gathered Oscar-winning actors Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon, who had never met prior to making this film, threw in Geoffrey Rush as an eccentric screenwriter for reasons which are still lost on me, and added Erika Christensen (Traffic) and Eva Amurri (Dead Man Walking), Sarandon’s own 16-year-old daughter, for good measure. Ordinarily you could expect to get really excited by this array of potential talent on the screen but, alas, Dolman takes us to the doldrums with this hit and miss, predictable and contrived comedy.
Dolman says he wanted to make a light-hearted film about mid-life crises in women and to explore whether freedom can also mean responsibility without having to be beige. The Banger Sisters is a classic example of how a stellar cast cannot save a hoary plot. Poor old Goldie ends up reprising the role her daughter Kate Hudson played in Almost Famous, 30 years on.
The Banger Sisters is moderately amusing but we never get to see the formidable talents of Sarandon and Hawn, who both languish in the light, shallow material. It is great to see how good the 50-something actresses look in those tight pants and this alone is worth the price of admission. As for the other roles, Geoffrey Rush is completely wasted and is less than a caricature, Eva Amurri is a whining bitchette and Erika Christensen just pouts. The Banger Sisters could have been more endearing and those of us of a certain age will be deeply disappointed by the lack of musical depth to a film about rock chicks from the 70s and the fact that Goldie is reduced to just a set of fake tits in a bad sitcom.