Sunday, August 12, 2012

Your Sister's Sister: Movie Review


Navigating three relationships with dialogue and a twist that ends a beat too early.

“Your Sister’s Sister” is an indie romantic dramedy. One that tries to say so much with so little; “little” in terms of story and setting. It’s a dialogue driven film about relationships. Jack (Mark Duplass) is depressed, mourning the loss of his brother. His friend Iris (Emily Blunt) sends him up to her father’s cottage for some alone time and beautiful scenery. 2011

Directed by: Lynn Shelton

Screenplay by: Lynn Shelton

Starring: Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt

Beautiful scenery there was plenty of; but not so much alone time. Unbeknownst to either of them, Iris’s sister, Hannah (Rosemary Dewitt), was also retreating to their father’s cottage for some alone time in the wake of an upsetting break-up. Two lonely people and an entire bottle of tequila lead to one inevitable place. In the morning, Iris arrives.

Duplass is fairly adept at comedy so he was able to navigate his way around two attractive sisters with a few well-earned laughs. There are more laughs during the description of Iris’s boyfriends (each wears skinny jeans, skinnier than the next). As mentioned, this is a dialogue driven film which makes it or breaks it. For the most part it does the job and effectively introduces us to the three characters, but the common complaint that the dialogue is pretentious is certainly accurate.

The characters are real enough, if not a bit extreme in their ways, that likability isn’t a huge factor. Although, Emily Blunt’s character does get preachy when things don’t go her way. She, and the audience, are thrown for a loop when a twist is introduced half-way through the film. At first I was relieved that the film was going to be about something other than just the relationships of these three people.

But ultimately “Your Sister’s Sister” is just about the sister’s relationship and their relationship with Jack. An ambiguous ending can certainly be welcome and interesting, but if you don’t quite care enough about the relationships to begin with then the ending arrives just a beat too early.

Who Might Like This: People who like dialogue-heavy independent dramas; people who like movies examining romantic relationships/triangles; college-aged and slightly older as that is who the comedy is geared towards; and fans of Emily Blunt, Mark Duplass or Rosemarie DeWitt.


Stuck Between Stations (2011) - A relationship drama about the characters and what they have to say.

The Waterhole (2009) - Hilarious dialogue for drunk, angry twenty-something guys.