Suzette (Goldie Hawn, First Wives Club
) is an ex-groupie who, with her tattoos, boob job and wild partying ways, seems determined to live in her glorious past. When she loses her bar job however, Suzette begins to think her days of being a rock chick are numbered and embarks on a road trip to Phoenix. She plans to seek out her old friend and fellow groupie Vinnie (Susan Sarandon, Thelma and Louise
) for help, support
and hopefully a good time! Along the way, Suzette picks up an uptight, depressed and celibate writer called Harry (Geoffrey Rush, Shakespeare in Love
), who seems to be on a bizarre mission to shoot his father. Suzettes infectious humour and lust for life soon start rubbing off however, and the two form a strong bond, made even stronger when Suzette decides to awaken Harrys sexual passion! Now all Suzette has to deal with is Vinnie, who has transformed from a trendy rock goddess into a prim, beige-wearing suburban wife and mother, with no plans for a trip down memory lane! The arrival of Suzette throws Vinnies carefully organized life into disarray. Her daughters and husband know nothing of her past, and with Suzette wanting to party like they did before, Vinnie has to answer some increasingly tricky questions. Her daughter, Ginger (Eva Amurri, Anywhere But Here
) is struggling with her driving test and her other daughter, Hannah (Erika Christensen, Traffic, Swimfan
) is about to graduate. With both girls demanding all Vinnies time, she realizes with envy that Suzette has never lost the free spirit attitude they shared in their younger days, and that its high time Vinnie enjoyed a reawakening. Juggling a night on the tiles with the school run is just that bit more of a challenge!
A refreshing take on a well-tried formula, The Banger Sisters
proves that there is always room for a polished new "women's picture", particularly one with a high astringent content. The eponymous sisters are a couple of girlfriends with a groupie past who haven't seen each other for years. Suzette (an ebullient Goldie Hawn) has remained a confirmed rock chick. When she's sacked from her bar job, she goes in search of Vinnie (Susan Sarandon) who has excised her past from her life as a staid wife and mother.
The performances are good and there are some cracking moments, not least as the initially resistant Sarandon seizes the memory of her youth and sheds her skin of respectability to the bewilderment of her husband and two daughters. Suzette's visit is the catharsis her old friend has long needed. (In many ways, of course, the most interesting aspect of the picture is the one we don't get to see: the long-term consequences of some pretty sleazy old revelations on a middle class family). But there's a pleasing poignancy in Hawn's decision to go home, her work done. And Geoffrey Rush, as usual, is outstanding as Harry, the neurotic writer she has picked up on the way and who could, just possibly, provide some stability in her itinerant life.
On the DVD: The Banger Sisters is presented in widescreen with a throbbing Dolby soundtrack. There are no extras. --Piers Ford