In the opening scene of this raucous comedy prim Poehler accosts a "homeless" guy outside a coffee house with unwanted life-affirming advice and deodorant. It's very funny indeed and the laughs remain consistent throughout as she and fiery Fey, playing chalk and cheese siblings, stage a big party at their parents home. They're distressed that the abode of their childhood years is being sold. Cue gags galore as the sundry invitees turn up, including drug dealer Leguizamo with his bodybuilder accomplice (Cena) and likeable handyman Barinholtz, whom Amy has the hots for. Meanwhile bitter Rudolph is out for revenge at not being included while old pal Moynihan gets hilariously stoned.
The party itself takes up most of the running time and pretty much delivers amusement with regular verve. Weist and Brolin as their harried parents top and tail the narrative but give good accounts of themselves – her use of the C word is a memorable moment – while Lee as Poehler's po-faced pedicurist Hae Won is uproarious, repeating her name with deadpan disdain.
It's all done with Hollywood brio, fast paced and full of confidence. One can't fault its professional sheen – only its over-familiarity. Where it falls down is not with any fault of its own – it delivers laughs aplenty – it is simply that parties have been depicted in movies countless times and this one, though certainly good fun, can't escape a deja vu feeling. At nearly two hours it's also too long. Agreeable and affable enough to be sure, but it doesn't quite hit the bullseye.