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Review: Your Sister's Sister

Your Sister's Sister
Jun. 14, 2012by:
8 10

PLOT: Jack (Mark Duplass) is having a hard time bouncing back after the death of his brother the year before. His platonic best friend, Iris (Emily Blunt) suggests that he go spend a week in her fathers isolated cottage- but when he gets there, he discovers her sister, Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt) has had the same idea. Reeling over a recent break-up, Hannah- a lesbian, and Jack drunkenly hook up, only to be surprised the morning after by Iris, whos come to check in on Jack. From here, the trio has to face the long-term effects their innocent night of drunken sex may have had.

REVIEW: YOUR SISTERS SISTER is director Lynn Sheltons follow-up to her earlier mumblecore hit HUMPDAY. Once again pairing her with star Mark Duplass, himself something of a mumblecore icon (having directed, with his brother, CYRUS, & JEFF WHO LIVES AT HOME, among others)- like HUMPDAY, this navigates tricky sexual politics, whereas a drunken one-night-stand is never just that- intermingling, in a three-dimensional way, the question of sexual orientation, unrequited love, and the messy residue left over from an innocent hookup.

Like HUMPDAY, YOUR SISTERS SISTER also happens to be extremely funny, albeit in a real kind of way, not zany. To me, watching these mumblecore films is like hanging around at a party- into the wee small hours of the morning, chatting it up with a bunch of funny, interesting folks. By the time its over, you dont really want to leave- and the ninety minute run time just whizzes by. As in HUMPDAY, most of the dialogue here seems improvised, and while Shelton also takes a writing credit, Duplass, DeWitt, and Blunt are listed as creative collaborators- so I suppose it was.

Of course, a film like this really lives and dies by the actors, and the film is pretty much being confined to these three just hanging out in the cabin. In that way though, its hard to think of YOUR SISTERS SISTER as anything other than a homerun, as each of the leads is perfect in pretty much every way you could imagine. Blunt has that rare gift (reminiscent of Amy Adams) where not only is she gorgeous, but she also radiates a certain warmth and kindness- making her emotionally accessible, and like THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT, this is perfectly suited to her strengths. DeWitt plays the more standoffish sister, whos not as immediately accessible, and like Blunt, DeWitt seems perfect ( I was a big fan of her run on MAD MEN). As for Mark Duplass, he possesses a great everyman quality where hes very easy to relate to, and I certainly had an easy time understanding the litany of issues that make him seek a little exile early-on. Really, everyone here is perfect.

Of course, being mumblecore its certainly not for everyone, and if you need action-action-conflict, YOUR SISTERS SISTER might not be the film for you. It IS, however, the film for me, and as such I really enjoyed it. If HUMPDAY, and CYRUS hit the right notes for you, Im sure you can reasonably expect the same from YOUR SISTERS SISTER.



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