Entertainment » Movies

Step Sisters

by Derek Deskins
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Jan 19, 2018
'Step Sisters'
'Step Sisters'  

Netflix releases a lot of content. But when it comes to official Netflix releases, not everything is rainbows and unicorns. For every "Stranger Things" and "The 13th," there are even more duds like "Disjointed" or any of those new Adam Sandler movies.

Many of Netflix's releases are flicks that used to go straight to video, but now they get the luxury of being included with the likes of awards contenders like "Okja" and "First They Killed My Father." If you didn't already see where this was going, there's a reason "Step Sisters" isn't playing at any theaters near you.

In her senior year of undergrad, Jamilah has the rest of her life planned out. She has a steady and reliable boyfriend and everything in place to move onto Harvard Law School next year. But when her parents refuse to write her a recommendation she is left scrambling to find a way to ensure her Harvard admission chances. When her friend's sorority, Sigma Sigma Beta, lands in hot water after a party goes viral, Jamilah is offered her Harvard golden ticket: Teach these white girls to step and receive a recommendation letter in return.

Technically, "Step Sisters" is a new movie. We've never seen these exact characters before, and the cast is fresh for this outing. But you've definitely already seen this movie. Imagine "Pitch Perfect," but without any of the laughs or originality and a heaping helping of white people jokes. Or "Bring It On," without any bankable stars or the wonderful benefit of nostalgia (in other words, any "Bring It On" sequel, which so happens to now be on Netflix as well). It is as if "Step Sisters" is the sequel to some movie that you never heard or cared about, filled with character shells and stereotypes that feel slightly familiar without really hooking you.

I truly don't understand why "Step Sisters" even exists. It hasn't been that long since we've gotten this type of mediocre rehash of stories we've already seen ("Pitch Perfect 3" did just come out). Before the movie even starts, you know exactly how it's going to play out, which is something that can be forgiven if it were actually funny or entertaining. But "Step Sisters" is not either of these things.

Calling the jokes lazy feels like I'm giving them too much credit. There are multiple references to Iggy Azalea, one white character that is repeatedly referred to as "Becky" despite that not being her name (at one point they even go as far as calling her "Becky with the good hair," in case you weren't picking up on the Beyoncé call out), and at least one "Baby Got Back" reference.

This doesn't even include the abounding clichés, including but not limited to a large group of white girls that can't dance, and multiple white people speaking to black people as if their only knowledge of black culture is from "Love & Hip Hop." (I was surprised that writer Chuck Hayward didn't shoehorn in someone suggesting that they would've voted for Obama for a third term.)

The step choreography is cool, but there isn't a whole lot of it, and you'd be better off watching "Stomp the Yard" (which this movie isn't afraid of mentioning). If there were a way to ignore a movie actively, I would strongly suggest that for this one, because "Step Sisters" is a cliché-riddled, unfunny, borderline racist blob of bad. Not endearingly bad. Just bad.

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