Your Sister's Sister

  • Year:2012
  • Rating:M
  • Director:Lynn Shelton
  • Cast:Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt, Mark Duplass
  • Release Date:August 23, 2012
  • Distributor:Madman
  • Running time:90 minutes
  • Film Worth:$16.00
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

Riding on the three stellar, largely improvised performances of its three leads, this funny, perceptive and poignant drama comes up trumps.

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Lynn Shelton’s 2009 indie, Humpday – which focused on two straight guys and best friends who have sex on tape for an art project – seemed outrageous from the outset, but the director took that premise and made it feel credible, funny, and perceptive. And she applies that same deft touch with Your Sister’s Sister, where the laughs come laced with pain.

The film kicks off with a bitingly good opening scene at a memorial service, which sees Jack (a bruised but sympathetic Mark Duplass) defy the rosy memories that a group of mourners have of his late brother by sharing his own anecdote. He recalls that his bullying brother only changed into the good guy that everyone remembers after seeing Revenge Of The Nerds – and decided that he wanted to end up on the winning side. It’s clear that Jack is slightly damaged goods, and in a bid to help him, his best friend, Iris (a surprisingly warm Emily Blunt), sends him on a break to her family’s holiday cabin. But instead of solitude, Jack finds Iris’ half-sister, Hannah (a prickly but mysterious Rosemarie DeWitt), who’s busy drowning her own sorrows. A shared bottle of tequila sees the pair end up in bed, only to attempt to hide all evidence of their one-nighter when Iris rocks up...

A pro at working within this low-key setting, Shelton mines the intimacy for all it’s worth, creating palpable discomfort and embarrassment between the trio. It’s in the completely natural interactions between this gifted cast that the film really hits its groove. Some might find it aimless and talky, but there’s more insight, wit and heart to be found here than in many of the most carefully scripted dramas.

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