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The Banger Sisters review

Imagine casting Susan Sarandon and Goldie Hawn as fiftysomethings who once voraciously sucked the cocks of every rock god passing through '60s LA. Now add a little dramatic friction: one has continued to live the groupie dream, working those neck muscles whenever she can; the other has turned her back on free lust for staid respectability and cosy, comfy motherhood.

Sounds good? Well, banish all thoughts of what could have been - - or rather should have been - - and consider writer/director Bob Dolman's simplistic, sanitised tale of Suzette (Hawn), an ageing good-time girl down on her luck, and Vinnie (Sarandon), a reinvented matriarch who hasn't even told her hubby that she was once part of every major rock group's rider. Vinnie's biggest worries are now her two spoilt, brattish teenage daughters - - at least until Suzette turns up on her doorstep with a whiff of patchouli oil and a jangle of bangles. Will Vinnie turf Suzette out? Or will she recall her `real' self at last and don a pair of ill-advised snakeskin trousers for a night at the disco?

No screenwriting diplomas will be given for the right answers - - this stuff is as predictable as it comes. Any plaudits being handed out should instead go to the immensely likeable Hawn (who's never looked better) and the captivating Sarandon (in prickly mode), who bounce off each other with real zeal. These ladies are bigger than Dolman's tame screenplay, obviously relishing the chance to work together and going all out to have a genuine ball - - just look at the scene in which they giggle over Polaroids of penises from their past.

Trouble is, Hawn and Sarandon are so big they force everyone else into the corner. The first casualty is Geoffrey Rush, left to feed on scraps as a washed-up screenwriter heading to Arizona to shoot his father, while Sarandon's screen daughters Christensen and Amurri (the actress' real-life sprogette) are written as little more than stroppy caricatures. A bit more balance and a lot more smut would have made for a much better movie.

Sarandon and Hawn do their best to blow a little life into a flaccid script - - but not even these Hollywood pros can animate this stiff of a movie.

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