Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Run Time: 1 hour 30 minutes, Rated R
Starring: Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt
Written and Directed by Lynn Shelton (My Effortless Brilliance, Humpday)
Opens Friday, June 29th, 2012
Your Sister's Sister seems like it was made for the stage, since a majority of scenes have no camera movement, and feature actors just acting. This is a tremendous compliment by the way, because the three actors on display are marvelous. With the next few months being filled with super-hero overkill, Your Sister's Sister is a nice and thoughtful diversion to the noise of Summer.
From a wholly original screenplay by Lynn Shelton (who also directs), Your Sister's Sister excels in how easy and realistic it feels. Mark Duplass (perhaps most recognized as Pete from FX's The League) is Jack, whose life is complete train wreck following the death of his brother Tom. In the opening scenes, we get a great monologue from Jack that instantly shows us where he is at in life, as others in the room try to give a memorial to their late friend Tom.
Also in this room is Iris (Emily Blunt), Tom's girlfriend, who we see also as being super-close friends with Jack, as one would be with a potential future in-law. Seeing Jack spiraling downward, Iris offers - rather insists - that Jack go away to her parents cabin in the woods, to clear his head and get some alone time.
Problem is, the cabin is not empty. Yes, this sounds like the set-up to a horror film, but this is not a horror film. Instead when Jack arrives, he finds the house occupied by Iris's sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt), who has escaped to the cabin to clear her own mind. Hannah just fled a seven-year relationship with her girlfriend, and the two take comfort in each other.
What transpires from here is for you to find out, as the story offers plenty of twists and surprises all done naturally. There is not an unauthentic bone in the body of Your Sister's Sister. It is a complicated situation that Jack finds himself in, but it is never a stretch to believe how he came to be in that situation.
Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt are all cogs in what is perhaps the best ensemble cast thus far in 2012. Individually, none of them stand out as award-worthy, perhaps, but together they create a strong believability. Duplass is perfectly cast, and has a face that instantly makes you root for him. He is infused with the charisma of a Steve Carell but bares a vulnerable side that is all his own.
This is a movie after all though, and sadly things wrap up a little too tidy towards the end. Still, the very last scene showcases a bravery usually reserved for small independent films such as this. It doesn't short us at all, but if you feel that it has, you may have missed the point.
Friendship is always the foundation that relationships are built on, and no matter what is coming down the road, all will be all right with a little help from your friends. Your Sister's Sister is a great reminder of that.
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