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film review: your sister’s sister


Your Sister’s Sister begins with an intervention. It’s a year after the death of Tom, brother of Jack (Mark Duplass) and ex-boyfriend of Iris (Emily Blunt). Some friends get together to remember him and Jack ends up  drunkenly yelling at the one making a heartfelt speech. Iris decides it is time to step in and help him get his life together, sending him off to her father’s house on a secluded island for some much-needed alone time.

When Jack arrives, though, he finds he has company for his solo soul-searching. Iris’ sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt) has sought refuge there also, recovering from a breakup with her girlfriend of seven years. Hannah and Jack hit the tequila, and before long, end up in bed together. The next morning, Iris shows up. From here on in, things get incredibly messy.

The best part of this film is undoubtedly Emily Blunt. She does down-to-earth very well, and she is as endearing as ever as Iris. DeWitt is very likeable also, and the two work well together as sisters. These two amazing female leads make sure that a story that only really has three characters is captivating enough to hold your attention until the end. They also make up for the fact that Duplass as Jack is, at times, not entirely likeable— this is probably intentional as his character is meant to be at his lowest point.

Despite having the high-profile Blunt as a lead, this is one of those low-key, indie films that try to be as realistic as possible. The style is instantly noticeable. Mostly, it works, because the characters’ conversations and the emotions they are experiencing are so interesting— and yes, fairly realistic. It does mean that there are some parts that drag on though, as in parts without dialogue that don’t have the trappings of a shiny Hollywood film (ie: shiny pop songs with lyrics that tell you how the silent character is feeling), things can become a bit bland.

The secluded setting is more beautiful than bland, though, and creates the sense that this is very much a personal story, a simple tale of three interconnected people who are trying to sort out their lives and emotions. The film is fairly short also, making it seem like a snapshot of real life rather than an epic love story. With a clever ending that doesn’t quite tie up loose ends, Your Sister’s Sister is unconventional, intelligent and an enjoyable watch.

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