The Banger Sisters (2002)


It’s not a stretch of the imagination to cast Goldie Hawn as a free-spirited hangover of the 1960’s, and that is exactly the part she plays in, The Banger Sisters, as the colorful and recently fired bartender, Suzette. Her counter-part is the straight-laced and uptight former party-buddy aka “Banger Sister” Lavinia played by Susan Sarandon. The plot is predictable, the dialogue is weak and the characters are under-nourished, however, the sheer mindlessness and humor of the movie is worth a few kernels of popcorn.

Lavinia has a couple of daughters (one played by Sarandon’s real daughter) who are oblivious to her mother’s frolicking past (as most daughters probably are and should be) until Suzette unexpectedly (and thus uninvited) pops up in her life in her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. Suzette quickly sheds a spot light (no a flood light) on the groupie past the two women shared together in their youth and why Frank Zappa playfully (or perhaps accurately) named them the “Banger sisters.”

Of course, the worldly-wisdom accumulated by Suzette (who is still firmly imbedded in the fun loving 60’s) in her years of being a bartender breaks down the protective barriers Lavinia has erected to insulate her daughter’s and herself from the seedier (and more adventurous) side of life. There are a few pearls of genuine wisdom to be found in the film, such as, life is better lived with abandoned rather than eluded from behind a rich cast-iron gate. But don’t expect to have deep revelations and a powerful epiphany during the movie.

This is a great escape and an entertaining ride, but certainly not a cinematic tour de force. If you’re looking to kick back and have a good giggle while folding laundry or giving yourself a pedicure this is the ticket. Otherwise, you’re better off to simply skip it.