Sister Code is in no way a classic, but you can tell there was an effort made to make this film funny, about the importance of sisterhood, and about working hard for the things you want and deserve.
Characters & Story
The James sisters, Lavae (Drew Sidora), Sheila (Eva Marcille), and Lexi (Amber Rose) have grown up together, bickered with each other, and mostly have found success. All thanks to their adoptive mother, Layne (Anne-Marie Johnson), who took the girls into her home and taught them nearly everything they know. Though, while mostly all of them are established and stable, there still remains some issues in their lives. For whether it is Sheila’s PR firm being taken seriously, Lexi trying to officially launch her lingerie line or Lavae dealing with a complicated pregnancy, each of them has a personal, or professional, struggle on top of trying to keep their sisterhood strong and alive.
One of the highlights of the film to me was Rose and her character Lexi. For while Marcille had her comedic moments, and Sidora was likable, Rose seemed to naturally fit into Lexi. If only because Lexi seemed like an extension of Rose in many ways. Lexi is a woman with a passion for fashion, is comfortable in her sexuality, and is an overall comical person. Making it so that, whether you know of Amber Rose or not, you will think she puts on a decent performance.
As for Marcille and Sidora? Well, Marcille reminded me of why, back when I used to watch America’s Next Top Model, I was drawn to her. For, like Rose with Lexi, she brings a type of comedic appeal. However, Marcille, likely due to more experience, goes beyond what Rose does with Lexi and shows a confidant business woman who perhaps can be considered inspiration in a way.
With the strength of the film being its comedy, and the main focus being on the more recognizable faces of Marcille and Rose, unfortunately, Sidora suffers. For with her getting the least amount of screen time, she basically is forced to rely on your sympathy due to what we are verbally told than her getting the chance to perform and you fall in love with her character and then feel for her. But the problem doesn’t end there, though. The other big issue for Sidora is that her co-stars, Marcille and Rose, aren’t on her level when it comes to being dramatic actresses. Due to that, it makes when things get real, Sidora is forced to carry the burden of working with actresses who are more capable of handling a funny line than a scene which requires emoting emotion.
Though you can’t solely blame her female co-stars. The men in the film, in my opinion, are pretty much interchangeable. All of them have that generic, model look, and though Lavae’s Thomas (Amin Joseph) is given some opportunity to be funny or dramatic, ultimately he isn’t memorable. The same thing goes for Sheila’s Rick (Brooklyn McLinn), who while certainly likable for being chivalrous, and having a crush on Sheila since childhood, again is a forgettable character who leaves you without a lasting impression.
Leaving perhaps the biggest issue of the film: not telling us what the hell happened? The first instance being, what in the world happened to their mother Layne. For while, assumingly, she died, the when and the how question goes unanswered. Much less, we aren’t told why the girls were orphaned in the first place. On top of that, considering how big the beef between Sheila and Corrine (Essence Atkins) is portrayed, it seems that more time would have been put into why Corrine is so against Sheila. Granted, being that Sheila used to work with Corrine, and maybe she was under Corrine’s wing, and now on her own, that could be part of the reason the two aren’t friendly, but it seems like there is so much more to the story than just that.
Overall: TV Viewing
Sister Code is the type of film you’d find in the bargain bin, or else at the supermarket in a 2 for a $1 rack. Which isn’t to imply this is a bad movie, it’s just that what it does well isn’t above average, and what it does badly shows why you probably never heard of it. Now, as for why this is being labeled TV Viewing and not as something to skip? Honestly, it is solely because I did get a handful of laughs out of this. Though all things considered, this is definitely close to the line where being labeled as something to skip and TV Viewing meet.