Thursday, 14 March 2013

Your Sister’s Sister

Your Sister’s Sister

After acting like a drunk, whiny, 30-something, adolescent slacker at the anniversary of his brother’s death, drunk, whiny, 30-something, adolescent slacker Jack (Mumblecore poster boy Mark Duplass) is packed off to the idyllic, Pacific Northwestern island retreat of best friend and unrequited love Iris (Emily Blunt) where he can, like, chill out and get his head together, man. 

Arriving at Iris’ cabin in the middle of the night he meets her lesbian sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt), still raw from the recent end of her 7-year relationship, who has escaped to the island with much the same idea.  Drinking and soul-baring ensue and one bottle of tequila later the two are having drunken, awkward, forgettable sex.  When Iris turns up the next morning intent on revealing her feelings for Jack, the panicked pair pretend nothing happened between them the night before.  But secrets have a way of coming out…

How much you like Your Sister’s Sister may well depend on how much you like the whiny, self-indulgent, bourgeois films of the Mumblecore movement.  Characterised by low production values, improvised performances and largely amateur actors, Mumblecore emerged on the American Indie scene in the early 2000s where it was championed by the Sundance and South By Southwest film festivals.  And if you like films where whiny, middle class, 30-something, white people talk endlessly about how they feel in a naturalistic fashion, it’s definitely the movement for you despite it being about as close to reality and as contrived as any saccharine-sweet Hollywood rom-com.  Say what you like about 27 Dresses or The Wedding Planner but at least they’re consistently funny and aren’t full of whiny, middle class 30-somethings endlessly telling you how they feel.

With Your Sister’s Sister however, Mumblecore has grown up a bit.  Engaging and funny, Shelton’s loose, semi-improvised film stands or falls by its three actors and while Duplass is essentially playing the same genial, amusing, hangdog slacker doofus he always plays (HIMSELF!), Blunt and DeWitt are wonderful, effortlessly convincing as sisters despite their obviously different accents.  Blunt’s warm, luminous presence is complimented by DeWitt’s dry, brittleness and watching these two connect is joyous. 

Nothing much happens.  Or everything happens.  Kinda depends on what you bring with you to the film. 

Tender, sweet and gently amusing, Your Sister’s Sister is an amiable way to spend 90 minutes.

David Watson
Written and Directed by:
Produced by:
1 hour 30 minutes

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