Film Review: Your Sister’s Sister

Posted in Film, Reviews
By Mary Clare Waireri on 29 Jun 2012

Your Sister’s Sister, the latest project by American Indie writer/director Lynn Shelton is a warm take on love, family and friendship. Iris (Emily Blunt) invites her friend Jack (Mark Duplass) to stay at her family’s isolated summer cabin following his brother’s death. The remote cabin is almost the perfect arena for a teen slasher, but when Jack unexpectedly encounters Iris’ sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt) at the cabin, a drunken tryst ensues and the stage is set for conflict.

The film is underpinned by an ambiguous will-they-won’t-they friendship between Iris and Jack, made even more complex by the introduction of Hannah’s own psychological demons. At its best, Your Sister’s Sister balances drama with comedy, shifting focus between each character in turn and presenting Iris, Jack and Hannah as equally flawed and vulnerable.

Tangled relationships aside, Your Sister’s Sister is a straightforward character driven drama bolstered by a lean, unsentimental script and given an edge by Mark Duplass’ serio-comedic performance. By confining the majority of the film to the cabin and surrounding woods, Lynn Shelton creates a claustrophobic emotional battlefield within which the three central characters’ complex relationships swiftly unravel.

In parts the film is inert and those who are not immediately absorbed by the tensions between Iris, Hannah and Jack may well find it uninspiring and forgettable. Self-indulgent monologues are not for everyone and the (for the most part) understated dialogue could seem somewhat flat. Also, for a film largely lacking melodrama, the final act is potentially overplayed.

Although the action of Your Sister’s Sister soars to an ultimately implausible conclusion, solid performances from Emily Blunt, Mark Duplass and Rosemarie DeWitt keep the overall piece afloat.  Equally, it is promising to see a genuinely ‘grown up’ original drama in theatres forming a valuable counterpoint to the hordes of action remakes and rom-coms currently on show.


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