Movie Review – YOUR SISTER’S SISTER (2011)
By: Garrett Collins
Starring: Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt
Emily Blunt is one of those actresses that kind of snuck up on me. Sure, she is a beautiful woman. But, to me, she was always one of those actresses who was better than the material she was in. The Wolfman and The Adjustment Bureau being two such examples. One thing I have always admired about Ms. Blunt is her willingness to dirty up for a part, such as what she did with Sunshine Cleaning. And, it is also what she does here for Your Sister’s Sister, a stripped down mostly fun sometimes messy human ‘dramedy.’ It’s a movie with two great performances and one pretty good one. And, for those that are sick of all the explosions that summer films tend to bring, it is an intimate story that proves to be well worth your time.
The film gets off on more than a somber start as a year to the day after his brother’s death, Jack (Duplass) is having trouble dealing with it. As is evident by his eulogy of sorts at a friendly get together. Iris (Blunt) not wanting to see her friend continue down the dark path he is on suggests he spend some time at a family owned cabin to help clear his head. Turns out her lesbian sister (DeWitt) is also staying there and after a night of drunken confessions, they end up sleeping together. And then Iris shows up to make things real interesting. One thing I admired about Your Sister’s Sister was its intimate setting and characters. While the circumstances are certainly pushing the boundaries of believability, I was willing to go with it because I connected with all of these performances. Blunt is exceedingly endearing as Iris, and some of her confessions that come out in the course of the movie came out of her lips amazingly. DeWitt (in a role that Rachel Weisz was originally cast in) is really good as dried fruit loving vegan sister Hannah who has the uh-oh moment with Jack. She has real expressive eyes and I think her performance was the one I admired the most out of the three.
As far as Duplass goes, I was back and forth on him most of the movie. An unusual choice in this role, I have admired him and movies he has done in the past, such as the underrated Baghead. However, while there were times when he stumbles (the scene with Blunt immediately following his eulogy being one of them) he was more on than off. The film is mostly improvised, and it is really nice the way interactions between either two or three-way conversations pay off. Director/writer Lynn Shelton uses these, as well as two and three shots, to her advantage. As already stated, it was refreshing to see Blunt enter scenes wearing baggy clothes & flannel shirts, as it makes us feel that much more for her later on in the story.
Speaking of the story, there is a plot line that comes up outlining what a character’s true motives are for having sex with the other that comes across as dumb and unfavorable to the overall story itself. But, other than that minor quibble, Your Sister’s Sister is a rather enjoyable way to spend an hour and a half. With a barely there but nonetheless charming acoustic laden soundtrack, as well as well constructed ways of revealing secrets, this movie won’t turn your world around. But, maybe it will allow yourself to better accept the people in your immediate one.
4 out of 5