Your Sister's Sister (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner29/06/2012

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 90 mins

Writer-director Lynn Shelton's follow-up to Humpday is an engagingly spiky, pleasingly unconventional comedy-drama with a strong script and a trio of terrific performances from its three leads.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by Lynn Shelton, Your Sister's Sister stars Mark Duplass as Jack, a depressed 30-something slacker who has become best friends with Iris (Emily Blunt), a year after the death of his brother, who was also Iris' boyfriend. After causing a scene at an annual memorial gathering for his brother, Jack decides to accept Iris' offer of staying at their family's remote island cabin for a few days, but when he arrives he's surprised to find Iris' sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt), who has troubles of her own after the collapse of a long-term lesbian relationship.

After a drunken night of bonding over their mutual misery, Jack and Hannah sleep together and quickly regret it the next morning, agreeing not to tell anyone. However, things get even more complicated when Iris arrives and confesses to Hannah that she loves Jack, while Hannah is harbouring an additional secret of her own.

The Good
Mark Duplass (who also starred in Shelton's Humpday) has the 30-something slacker act down to a fine art at this point (he's like a slightly less dopey, more aggressive Jason Segel) and he's on fine form here, managing to keep Jack on just the right side of sympathetic, despite being several shades of screwed up. He's equally matched by Rosemarie DeWitt, who's superb as spiky Hannah, while Emily Blunt continues her run of exceptional performances with a delightful turn as Iris, sparking engaging chemistry with both her co-stars and radiating kindness in a way that's utterly charming.

The largely improvised script (although perhaps 'workshopped' is more accurate) is packed with great dialogue that feels both convincing and naturalistic, particularly during Hannah and Jack's drunken get-together scenes. That said, the film falters a little in this regard towards the end, when Shelton feels the need to throw in a more conventional 'big speech' moment, but that doesn't detract from the overall feel.

The Great
The focus of the film is refreshingly unconventional, choosing to treat the relationship between the sisters with just as much (if not more) importance than the relationship between the potential couples. In that respect, the film can be seen as an excellent companion piece to Humpday, with its decidedly non-mainstream look at male friendship.

If there is a problem with the film, it's only that Hannah isn't exactly a poster girl for lesbianism, though the film does at least partially fend off accusations of homophobia by establishing that Hannah's actions are borne out of a particular desperation.

Worth seeing?
Your Sister’s Sister is a hugely enjoyable, superbly written and frequently funny relationship drama that's refreshingly offbeat and features terrific performances from its three leads. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

Your Sister's Sister (15)
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Content updated: 18/10/2017 12:03

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