The Lemon Sisters

A Movie Starring Three Women (Diane Keaton, Carol Kane and Kathryn Grody) and directed by another (Smooth Talk's Joyce Chopra) is so rare in macho-or-die Hollywood that The Lemon Sisters deserves credit just for being made. But the credit stops there. Why would these proven talents saddle themselves with a lame comedy script, attributed to Jeremy Pisker, that views women as insufferably whimsical airheads?

Eloise (Keaton), Franki (Kane) and Nola (Grody) grew up pals in Atlantic City, where they moonlight as a singing act called the Lemon Sisters. Eloise and Nola strike it rich in 1982 when casino developers buy the property that houses Eloise's TV museum and the taffy shop Nola runs with her husband (Elliott Gould). Each starts a new enterprise, leaving showbiz to Franki and her promoter boyfriend (Aidan Quinn). But Franki proves comically atrocious as a solo act Meanwhile, eccentric Eloise starts collecting nude statues, and homemaker Nola has her life taken over by the nanny (Estelle Parsons) she hires for her kids.

The film is clearly meant to be a celebration of female bonding. But what about female independence, intelligence or wit? Even at the end, the Lemon Sisters are giggling on the beach, renewing their girlhood vow to stay together for 83,462,217 years and 4 months. The movie only seems like it lasts that long.

From The Archives Issue 587: September 20, 1990
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