The Banger Sisters

Goldie Hawn, Susan Sarandon, Geoffrey Rush.
Written and directed by Bob Dodman.
Running Time: 100 mins
Rated: M
Every so often a film's acting is so classy it is saved from the mediocrity it would otherwise enjoy. The Banger Sisters is a case in point.

Suzette (Hawn) and Vinnie (Saradon) prided themselves on bedding all the top rock bands that came to LA in the late 60s. Twenty years later Suzette is still living the LA life, but doing it hard, while Vinnie has moved on to Phoenix, Arizona to become Lavinia, a well-to-do wife and mother who wants to forget where she came from and what she once got up to. When
Suzette is fired from her job she travels to Phoenix to see Vinnie. On the way through the desert she meets Harry (Rush), a neurotic writer, and together they all face up to what their pasts reveal about the here and now.

Bob Dodman's script covers very familiar ground. The only additions to the usual are that his heroes have a very promiscuous past and that they photographed the genitals of each sexual partner. As a result this story is much cruder than usual and the language and content will offend many viewers.

Only two things save The Banger Sisters from being a write-off. Goldie Hawn is an outstanding comic actress and her timing and characterisation here is first-rate. Susan Sarandon is a fine character actress whose face tells most of the story. She is a joy to watch. Geoffrey Rush, whose American accent is not completely convincing, milks the hapless Harry for all he's worth.

Secondly, the story in this film is played out against the importance of families. Suzette wants one. Lavinia is trapped by the one she has created. Harry needs to get free of his. While The Banger Sisters starts out being an unlikely film to end up wearing its pro-family sentiments so publicly on its sleeve, that's were it takes us, but not even three fine actors can save us from having to endure a schmaltzy ending.

Richard Leonard SJ

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